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Park Slope area sushi wars

Our sushi restaurant of choice is always Geido on Flatbush. The fish is so fresh and the staff are fabulous. However, once in a while when I'm working in the South Slope (south of 9th St.) and want some lunch, I'll go to the sushi bar at Kiku (near 12th?). Well, Kiku must be upping their game because when I was there today, they were producing plates of food and having a professional photoshoot for them - they were amazing art plates. And then my usual plate came out - a tuna/av/cuke/ roll, tobiko sashimi and 2 pieces of yellowtail sushi and it was so whimsical and good! The guys behind the counter seems liked real pros and it was serious sushi time in there. I'm happy that there seem to be at least 2 really good sushi houses in the Slope. I also noticed that another one is opening on 7th Ave. near 5th St. where another (mediocre) sushi restaurant closed.

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  1. I'm interested in hearing more about the 7/12 Kiku. I've ordered delivery sushi from Kiku's original mini location at 7/15 and have always found the rolls decent and more imaginative than some, but the fish quality just okay - don't think I've ever had a bad piece there, but nothing that ever wowed me. Is the eat-in restaurant notably better? It would have to be miles better than its sister to be considered in the same class as Geido.

    I've also tried Ten sushi (7/15th?) a couple of times in the last two weeks. Singularly unimaginative sushi selection, but every piece of fish I've had there has been fabulously fresh. Of course, I've also gone on a Thursday night and a Saturday at noon, so it may just be that I'm getting their stock at its best.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cjd260

      Oh man, Ten is among my worst in Park Slope. The toro was so sinewy I had to pull it out of my mouth because I couldn't chew it up. The ideas for rolls are great in theory, but they were not so good in practice. The honey miso sauce on one roll was not quite pleasantly flavored. The Paradise roll with fried banana and lobster and shrimp tempura sounded great but was really greasy and only tasted of generic spicy mayo. The spicy tuna w/ spider roll (I forget what it's called) was also greasy (they need to make better tempura) and the spicy tuna was somewhat bland. I won't be going back.

      1. re: cjd260

        The takeout-only Kiku was, like you said, OK, but nothing great. I like the idea of strawberry and peanuts in a sushi roll, but the quality was just not good. I won't try the newer 7th avenue location because I just didn't enjoy myself enough to go back.

      2. We always love Yamato on 7th and 1st. In addition to great rolls, we love the Salmon Skin Salad and the Spicy Seafood Soup. My son swears by the Tofu Terriaki. As one can expect in a great sushi place, it is impeccably clean, and creatively good.

        A favorite on 5th Ave is Mura. Love their bento boxes.

        22 Replies
        1. re: Brooklyn Mel

          Taro is my gold standard for sushi in Brooklyn. (Hibino for upscale Japanese, and Geido for "soul food" Japanese.)

          Is Kiku owned by the same people who run Nana? They're 5th Ave. location bears a striking resemblance to Nana down the street.

          1. re: lambretta76

            When I lived in South Slope I would frequent Kiku, and then when I moved to Prospect Heights I briefly went to Sushi Tatsu before making Geido my go to spot. I'm tempted to try Taro, but Geido is just so much closer to me and they recognize us everytime. Is it worth it?

            1. re: ginsbera

              I think Taro is in a different league for sushi - it's much higher quality fish and more of a serious sushi bar - Geido has BLT rolls and things of that nature.

              I enjoy Geido for soups, okonomiyaki (but get the sauce on the side), katsu, and things of that nature, but rarely order sushi from them anymore. It's not bad, it's just not as good as I can get elsewhere. (That said, the cooked foods at Taro, outside of the tempura, tend to leave much to be desired.)

              1. re: lambretta76

                I very much enjoy sushi, and I have to say Geido doe shave very good sushi. Yes they have some playful rolls, but I wouldn't say it is a bad thing. With that said I can't compare until I head to Taro, so that will be next on my list for sushi. I'll write back with my comparison.

                1. re: ginsbera

                  My favorite is Yamato on 7th and 1st. Great, great sushi. Really top notch.

                2. re: lambretta76

                  Had the omekase last night at taro, sushi & sashimi. Absolutely beautiful, inventive and a little pricey. Very low key atmosphere and high quality fish. My wife didn't like anything other than maki until last night!

                  1. re: Ralphus

                    Our experience, a few weeks ago, was the total opposite. I wrote a review of our whole experience, explaining why we will never return, but got censored, twice.

                    So I guess all I am allowed to say here is that the sushi at Taro was (has always been) just mediocre...

                    We have eaten Taro's sushi before and this last time we chose omakase.

                    As I stated above, the sushi was mediocre - and I had a strong fishy taste in my mouth (the wrong kind of fishy) when we left.

                    We eat sushi often -especially in Manhattan, and most of the time we choose omakase. We know what good & great sushi tastes and feels like - and what kind of an "aftertaste" (fresh) it leaves in your mouth.
                    Taro was definitely not it.

                    1. re: FoodWine

                      I wonder if it was an off day for them. I've had the sort of bad sushi experience you're talking about and it was definitely not what we ate on Sunday.

                      1. re: FoodWine

                        :( That's unfortunate both for your experiences and for your censoring. I've never had these "off nights" that people describe after going to Taro. I'm elitist enough to not turn a blind eye to bad sushi to support a place I like. I must get lucky.

                      2. re: Ralphus

                        So glad for your wife, Ralphus. You can always tell when sushi is quality when it causes you to enjoy things you never thought you would enjoy nor had you ever enjoyed anywhere else before.

                    2. re: ginsbera

                      I had been to Sushi Tatsu once. It was really out of my way. I recall it being alright, just overpriced. I don't know, I don't remember it that well.

                      Still haven't been to Geido. I'm very tempted to make it a stop on my list, though. What do they specialize in? Quality fish, a lot of varieties of fish, creative rolls?

                      1. re: hamstrman

                        In my opinion Geido has great quality fish. They may not have as an extensive list as Taro, but its top notch every time I go. They have some very creative rolls all priced pretty reasonably. Non sushi items include a variety of gyoza, fish collars (delicious), salads, soups, japanese pancakes and more.

                        1. re: ginsbera

                          Oh - forgot about the fish collars - those are delicious, but rarely offered. I've always felt that the fish at Taro was of the highest quality in Brooklyn, with Hibino coming in at a close second, but Geido fell several steps below that - at around the same level as Gen. (But far ahead of places like Sushi Tatsu.)

                          And it depends on who you have rolling at Taro - sometimes I've had amazing maki-zushi rolls, sometimes they're just OK. But the sushi is why I go there, and it's uniformly outstanding. (I love the ebodai and the sardine - both fresh and tempura versions.)

                          1. re: lambretta76

                            Yes the collars are great. I've actually seen them consistently on the menu all year so maybe they realized there was demand and kept them stocked. As for the fish quality I'll have to try Taro and make the comparison. Geido does not serve the best quality fish I've ever had (that was in a small place in Westchester actually), but it's always great in my opinion.

                            When I go to Taro is there anyone or anything inparticular which you recommend? I'll eat anything and generally like trying new types of fish (apple jack is one of my favorites and I can never find it).

                            http://always-eating.blogspot.com/

                            1. re: ginsbera

                              Apple jack? Do you mean amberjack? Apple jacks are a cereal, heh. I couldn't find anything about any kind of fish named that. I recommend the butter fish which has a thin dashi broth gelatin sheet on it. Also, the sardine is great.

                              As for the collars, it's sad that I hate cooked fish, and yet sushi is far and away my strongest obsession. Go figure.

                              1. re: hamstrman

                                ha, good catch. I meant amber jack sorry. It was a long day. I'm going to taro tonight, I try the butter fish, sounds great.

                                1. re: ginsbera

                                  Amberjack is also known as kanpachi or kampachi - there's actually a chowhound thread about the different spellings! (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/482091) - and Taro has it. So does Ki Sushi on Smith and Yamato on 7th and 1st and most good sushi places. Hope this helps.

                                  1. re: hamstrman

                                    hamstram, went to Taro last night. Had a wonderful meal, of course ordered too much and for the most part I was very happy with the food. My favorite bite/dish of the night was the special, seared uni and scallop for $5 a piece. Delicious, melt in your mouth and I can't wait to get it again. I ordered a sushi platter and also really enjoyed the salmon (very fresh) and the tuna. I was a little disappointed with my yellowtail, a bit stringy unfortunately. I think Taro beats out Geido in fish selection, but I'll wait till another visit to say the quality is better. I do like the ambiance at Geido much more though. I did not get the butterfish, too full, next time.

                                    1. re: hamstrman

                                      also when I had amberjack it was from japan and I remember the servers speaking of two variations, with the one I was having more rare and harder to find in the stats. Regardless, very good.

                              2. re: lambretta76

                                very unimpressed when I went to gen.

                        2. re: lambretta76

                          Taro is the best pure sushi in Brooklyn in terms of diversity and perhaps quality. It's unfortunate they're so amazing with fish, but make subpar rolls, depending on what you like with sushi. Ki Sushi (not in Park Slope, I know) rivals Taro for best quality fish.

                        3. re: Brooklyn Mel

                          I too love Yamato. Their toro is soft and buttery and they occasionally have anago. The Triple Color roll is awesome as is their spicy tuna. And the Red River appetizer is great too.

                        4. The original comment has been removed
                          1. Can't believe no one's mentioned Tamari, on Fifth Avenue between Berkeley and Union. True, it bills itself as a "Japanese tapas" joint and sake bar, but it's got some of the freshest, tastiest sushi and sashimi in the neighborhood. Don't sleep on the tapas portion of the menu, though, if you're not too much of a purist to accept such a concept. Friendly, chill atmosphere, too. Speaking of chill, the chilled silky tofu is a must-order. Creditable noodles, too. Can't say enough about this place.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: mrfinewine

                              i find it so interesting that no one has mentioned blue ribbon sushi! we went a few years back but haven't tried it since. is it good still?

                              1. re: redgirl

                                I live in Park Slope, and have eaten at most of the sushi restaurants in the neighborhood. We just went to Taro sushi for the first time last week, and my expectations were high, too high I guess. I found it to be average, at best. I posted on this board right afterwards, and folks thought I may have caught it on a bad night, so I will go back. In my opinion, Blue Ribbon is the best.

                                BTW guideboy, I've been in NY for many years, and I eat in all five boroughs, often based on what I read on this site. Park Slope has an amazing diversity of restaurants, and some of them are truly unique and worth traveling for (Convivium Osteria, Al Di La, Palo Santo, to name a few). I hope you come by, try some, and then post more intelligently. You may even find that you like some of us captives who live in this neighborhood, we're not so bad.

                                1. re: redgirl

                                  ugh, spent a lot of money at blue ribbon recently for not so great sushi; disappointing.

                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                    It is a valid opinion that Park Slope food overall may not be distinctive considering the large amount of places total compared to the relatively few number of gems.

                                    However, as someone who lived in Japan for several years, I can confirm that Park Slope and Prospect Heights are blessed with several authentically delicious Japanese places.

                                    Gen, Geido and Taro are the ones I frequent. Plus there are some deeper in the Slope that are a father walk that I've been to once or twice (I think Tamari is one, it was tapas, very Japanese).

                                    Consider Gen -- when it opened up at the unlikely location of Washington and St Marks, I did not believe that a truly authentic Japanese place would open up at that location, dismissed the positive reviews, and delayed going there for way too long. When I finally tried it I realized how wrong I was.

                              2. Somehow all my posts got deleted from this thread?

                                What was my crime? Criticizing Park Slope restaurants?

                                Here's what I wrote>

                                When I want sushi, or any kind of food, I stay away from Park Slope.

                                I won't claim wide knowledge of Park Slope restaurants, because I avoid eating in the neighborhood. With such a large captive, well-to-do audience that desires convenience above all else, most places revel in mediocrity, or are far from worth the money they charge. For me this website works as a way to to find adventurous places to eat, not places near my house. If I lived in Park Slope, I would explore Sunset Park, or further out in Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and Bath Beach. One favorite, a quick ride away, is Panaderia La Flor, 5th Avenue and 41st Street, a 24 hour Mexican diner with sublime tortas, gorditas etc.

                                I don't consider Park Slope restaurants uniformly bad -- I said that I avoid the neighborhood for eating out, which is because the chance of getting a worthwhile meal there is pretty low. So many of the threads on this board ask about Park Slope this or Park Slope that, as if Chowhound were just another website for the neighborhood. It seems you can do much better using by considering the opinions of people who are willing to venture throughout the boroughs to find good food.

                                As far as sushi goes, in my experience sushi and fresh fish seems much better on the west coast, so I tend to eat it when I'm out there.

                                Hamster, I have eaten sushi a number of times in NYC, even a couple times in Park Slope (Taro, Blue Ribbon), but wouldn't recommend any of them compared to what I have had in California and Hawaii. Is that so wrong? I'm not sure what makes my post irrelevant versus the "relevancy" (relevance?) of yours. I'm critiquing not just the worthiness of Park Slope restaurants I have tried, but also the vast number of posts on this site (which appears to be about going out and looking for good, interesting food), especially this board, which limit themselves to a neighborhood like Park Slope. I suspect that if people ask about Park Slope, it is because they live there, or feel safe there, and don't have much interest in putting an emphasis on food over location.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: guide boy

                                  I don't remember what my posts said, but I don't like how Chowhound doesn't distinguish between food discussion and non-food discussion. My post about Sakura Cafe was entirely removed because of my criticism of your post.

                                  If Chowhound moderators insist on deleting irrelevant posts and since they clearly read everything (otherwise they would not know what to delete), they should only remove nonrelevant portions of posts. I intentionally added relevant commentary regarding sushi restaurants in Park Slope as to not derail the thread from its original topic. Apparently talking about sushi restaurants in Park Slope is ALSO irrelevant in a thread about sushi restaurants in Park Slope.

                                  ANYWAY, in order to contribute to this thread in a relevant and hopefully helpful manner, I would like to recommend Sakura Cafe on 6th St and 5th Ave. They have a master sushi chef from Japan working in their kitchen and, while they are a little pricey for the portion size, they make delicious sushi that has great variety and puts wasabi under each piece. It's quite good. When I originally posted this recommendation, I was (and still am) surprised that no one had mentioned it previously. Hopefully this recommendation can continue to provide people who read it with an additional option.

                                  1. re: hamstrman

                                    Looks like a handful of mine, including my defense of park slope area restaurants are also now gone. Unfortunate, thought we both (hamstram and myself) had great points.

                                    Nevertheless, I will get back to the point. Geido continues to be my favorite all around sushi restaurant, although I do expect to add Taro in to the mix now that I have samples their dishes. Huge fan of the scallop and uni special, just amazing. I've found Sushi Tatsu okay, but nothing special. Nana also has some interesting rolls, but nothing to write home about, although it is nice to order some thai/malaysian food and a roll.

                                  2. re: guide boy

                                    Folks, we're leaving these posts up because they do include a couple of tips, but we'd ask that you please focus the conversation on where to get great chow in Park Slope or elsewhere in the vicinity, rather than on how other chowhounds choose to post. "Rate chow, not chowhounds" is a good rule of thumb to remember. We're here to discuss chow, not discuss the discussion of chow.

                                    1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                      we stopped in at "TEN" last night, it wasn't so bad. pricing was incredible, i had the standard eel, live scallop, scallion toro, etc etc. no complaints whatsoever.