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Mar 20, 2009 06:37 AM

Urasawa or Masa?

If l wished to go to the top end sushi palace in America, there seem to be the top two. Been to Yasuda and loved it, but these, based on price alone seem to present a transcendental experience above the 'normal' high-end establishment. Thus of these two which should l go to and why.

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  1. I've never seen a negative review of Urasawa, ever.

    1. Neither Masa or Urasawa are straight-ahead sushi places. Hiro Urasawa was Masa Takayama's assistant until he closed Ginza Sushiko to open Masa in NYC. So basically, they are in the same mold, but probably differ in what each chef brings in terms of personality and style. I don't know if you can argue which is better.

      1. I believe the consensus is that the two are fairly comparable in terms of the quality of food, but that Urasawa is the much more enjoyable *experience*.

        Here's my latest experience at Urasawa:

        I'll be going back next week.

        1. Very few people have been to both. The ones that have state that Urasawa is a longer, less rushed dining experience with more cooked items. Masa has been reported to have better sushi by a hair. The sushi and rice at Urasawa has been reported to be of the same calibre as Yasuda while the sushi and rice at Masa has been reported to be slighty better than Yasuda on certain visits.

          Do the comparison for yourself and report back!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Porthos

            Been to Masa in L.A. when it was called Ginza Sushi-Ko, but not in New York. It's become rushed? That's sad. Went to Bar Masa a few times in New York shortly after it opened, but it was not great. Wonder if Bar Masa ever got any better? Still waiting to try Urasawa - perhaps when the Dow recovers, if that day ever comes.

            1. re: omotosando

              Having never been to either myself, I can only tell you what I've seen online comparing the two. The complaint is that Masa is about a 2 hour experience vs Urasawa's 4. I've been trying to engineer a back to back comparison myself but at that price, I'm tempted to go straight to the source and take a crack at Jiro and Mizutani! This is the most extensive blog I've found comparing Urasawa and Masa:


              1. re: Porthos

                Ouch - it sounds like Masa has lost its soul. At double the old price.

                1. re: omotosando

                  Yep. Sounds like Ginza was the best of both worlds.

          2. Thanks all for the comments, especially Kevin H for the visually as good as being there report.