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Jun 19, 2009 04:05 AM

Sushi in the Meatpacking District or Village

Please may I have a rec for a casual darn good sushi place vs a place that caters to the masses with lots of glitz? We want standard rolls and nigiri with fresh fantastic fish. Ambiance is not necessary, just the best fish. We wish to walk and will be in the Meat Packing District.

Sushi Samba looks slightly over the top for us...

We are considering En Japanese or Sushi on Hudson.


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  1. Perhaps you might try Ushiwakamaru. It's on Houston, but not a bad walk. If you're in heels, I'd say Soto.

    13 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      Soto is a great suggestion. The restaurant is not so much about the sushi, though they have above-decent offerings; it's more about the sashimi and composed plates (notably of cooked lobster and geoduck). Soto also does wonderful uni dishes, though it's a bit past the season for 'em (meaning they're smaller... though I've been told not necessarily less flavorful). The place isn't at all glitzy, but it is pricey.

      I think Ushiwakamaru has been pretty bad since its renovation and reopen (and actually maybe a bit before that, too). They seem to be coasting on reputation, now. The only semi-decent meals I've had there within the past three years have been in front of Hideo Kuribara and even those were not as good as they were five years ago. The "set dinners" are inexpensive, but not worth eating IMHO. They are no worse and no better than what you might have at a place like Monster Sushi, but without the 'creative' rolls.

      Conversely... EN is not the best place to go for sushi, but they do have good, freshly made tofu.

      If you don't mind the walk, there's also Kanoyama in the E. Village. I haven't been in a while, but the word on the street is that the inexpensive set dinners still include high quality fish.

      And there's the expensive, but non-glitzy, 15 East near Union Square.

      1. re: cimui

        that's a disturbing report on Ushi...i've only back there once (in maybe October), since i got back from living overseas for a year...but in the couple years prior to that, it was my regular and favorite sushi place in the October meal was excellent and just as tasty as always, and i'd planned on returning soon...but i pretty much always sit in front of Hideo-san...

        1. re: Simon

          i disagree on ushi...ive continued to have great meals before and after the renovation...with hideo and at the tables. its my go-to sushi spot for me.

          soto is good but i find them to be overpriced overall. ive rarely left under $125/person and was still full.

          1. re: Simon

            Hi Simon, I've actually been really hesitant to draw any conclusions in part because of your good reports -- but I've had enough bad meals there that I don't actually recommend the place any more.

            It's true that meals in front of Hideo san are better, but even in front of him, I have had mediocre fish. One of the younger sushi chefs was so embarrassed to've served me such bad fish at one dinner (even though I tried not to make any faces!) that he pulled me to the side, after, and told me to come back on a certain day the next week, when they were expecting a shipment of fresh fish. I don't doubt that there are still good meals to be had, here, if the stars align for you (i.e. you're in front of Hideo-san on the right day of the week / month), but it is too inconsistent for me to feel comfortable recommending.

            All that said, I haven't had too many of the cooked dishes, only the nigiri and sashimi. The cooked dishes might be more consistent.

            1. re: cimui

              So no to En Japanese and Sushi on Hudson? We are traveling tomorrow and have a ton to do so want to be within a 15 min walk. Also 125 pp is not possible..thanks...

              1. re: phelana

                I've never been to Sushi on Hudson. I'd say "no" to EN for sushi. Your best bet that I can think of is Kanoyama, but Simon or others might (hopefully!) have other suggestions in the meatpacking area.

                1. re: phelana

                  Sadly, Sushi on Hudson is just ordinary. As a W. Village resident I am usually disappointed in the sushi in the nabe.

                  1. re: simetrias

                    Simetrias, if I forgo sushi as I cannot afford 125.00 pp what is amazing not to miss, 100 USD for two in the West Village? We are near Jarnek and that area..can walk 15 min. LOVED Pastis want something fun and hole in the wall or not so known is ok..any cuisine..I am thinking sushi is not gonna happen

                    1. re: phelana

                      I heard Jarnac is serving their last meal this month. Sad. 100 USD for 2.... Da Andrea (more like central village), Malatesta, both good Italian and reasonable. Malatesta is in the w. village.

              2. re: Simon

                Ushi ... you can still get a good meal here if you know how to order.
                I'm ... well, not quite sure how the re-model has effected the focus.
                I like Kanoyama in that it tends to, uh, "venture out" a bit ...
                I'd like to compare their hamo with Ushi's.
                I've also seen suzuki arai on their menu recently.

                1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                  hmmm, that's right, it's hamo season...i better start feasting before it goes out of season

              3. re: cimui

                Not sure what over the top means as far as sushi samba, the ceviche and the tiradito is good there , the sushi is "under the top:" basically sucks. Ushiwakamaru people rave about and they insist you must be served by the head chef, i totally understandthat. I was there only once and served by a guy who used to work at Hisaki and he had a bad cold and was coughing all over my mediocre sushi ,,I have to go back for sure as I want to try it from the main guy.
                Kanoyama is great but a big walk from meat packing, Sato is good is Sato werves you ,,,, The place on w.4th is intersting i think name is Aki , he used to be chef in Jamiaica or there abouts and some of the sushi dishes worth trying are west indian inspired, a good "once in awhile " place and closer to meat packing than Sato. 15 East is close also ,that would be my number one pick

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  Good run down. Some of the rolls at Aki are interesting (jerk chicken with mango), but the quality of the fish (and rice) they use is not really all that high. It's not terrible if you want creative, non-fish rolls. And it's relatively inexpensive.

            2. AP, thank you so much, I just emailed my nephew, who know the town, with the same request as yours and a second later saw this board. Plenty of the info I needed for our NYC trip Thurs thru Mon. Yipee! I'll just print this gem out and I'm done.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Afar

                phelana using my teen's account as mine will not login. we went to Fig and Olive as we were tired and figured Tapas would be fast. It was very nice, very affordable and delish. The waistaff were efficient. We had tuna tartare which was lovely, a tasty crostini with shrimp and avo, lovely roasted pepper and a lovely cheese with fig. Our house Olive and Fig Salade was lovely. The artichokes were ok. 43.00 with large Pellagrino. Fantastic. The meatpacking district is alive and well and pulsating with energy tonight..sadly I have none after an abysmal day getting to NYC.

              2. Magu at UN Plaza was recommended for lunch. Is this simply a payment for posh or should Megu be seriously considered?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Afar

                  Latest suggestion is Aburiya Kinnosuke and an alternative Sushi Yasuda.

                  1. re: Afar

                    We had a feast at Aburiya Kinnosuke, 213 E. 45th. So good we returned for dinner a 2nd time. We left the sidewalk and felt we had zoomed through the twilight zone to Tokyo.

                2. I would have to say Soto is the best Sushi restaurant in the areas you are looking at hands down.

                  1. There's a great little sushi joint (authentic) on 17th street and 10th avenue. Very quaint, charming and authentic. We love it.. and everytime we;ve been there its been packed with natives -- unfortunately the name of the restaurant has slipped my mind!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: theAVE

                      Naka Naka, 458 West 17th Street, 212.929.8544

                      1. re: Afar

                        Oh wow, great tip -- thanks, theAVE and Afar. I hadn't heard of this. Will check it out.