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amazing sushi? EV, LES

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i'm on the hunt for a sushi fix in the EV or LES. really good sushi only. fresh fresh fresh, and inspired, but, really, most importantly, fresh fresh fresh. i don't want to waste my time or money on something mediocre. my favorite sushi in town is yasuda, but it's neither in the right place nor at the right price for me right now. anybody have a rec? would also be willing to go elsewhere downtown if the east side is simply not going to happen.

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  1. Kanoyama in the East Village

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    Kanoyama
    175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    1. My favorites in the immediate neighborhood are Kanoyama and Nori. Not Yasuda quality but gently priced. The sashimi at Kyo Ya is also excellent but it's more of a kaiseki restaurant and only has 4-5 varieties a day. They also have box pressed sushi if you like that sort of thing.

      Ushiwakamaru (just north of Soho) is also very good for the price.

      Sushi Azabu in Tribeca is also a possibility but there's been reports of inconsistency in the last few months.

      20 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Kanoyama can be as good as Yasuda if you sit at the sushi bar and order the specials. You are not going to get Yasuda's qualtiy sushi if you order the "fake" omakase from the menu.

        1. re: kobetobiko

          I concur with kobe. Kanoyama can be as good and I think better than Yasuda. You cant order the fake cheap omikase, you have to order from Nobu-san on who hangs on the right side of the sushi bar, and has the fish from japan,,,, I think Kanoyama has more variety of japanese fish than any restaurant in NYC. Nori is OK not on same level. 15 East is not in EV but its not far and the sushi there is excellent. Jewel Bako has fresh fish and is good. Izabu is just OK . Ushi is overrated. I may as well say it,, Yasuda is overrated

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            why you gotta be like that? ushiwakamaru is amazing...i dont get the 'past it's prime' talk. i think it miles better than kanoyama and ive had omakase at both.

            1. re: sam1

              well stated ..

              kanoyama does offer an engaging variety.
              Yet not unlike yasuda, fails to "wow".
              ushi/shimizu on a good night, however ... (curl toes)

              1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                Ushi Wakamaru is at minimum, one tier below Shimizu, Yasuda, and 15 East.

                Also, Yasuda easily offers an equal variety of seafood as Kanoyama, many also flown in from Japan. Kanoyama happens to have a great website and a blackboard outside with the latest details.

                1. re: Silverjay

                  beg to disagree ...

                  yasuda is a goto when with those who might get off on 6 varieties of "sake".
                  contrarian? pehaps. i'd do a business lunch here any day of the workweek ...
                  off-hours/kick back, however ... pass.

                  the hikarimono @ shimizu has been the best I've had in town to date ...
                  short of the sorely missed Ichimura.

                  Ushi, "straight off the menu" (and this includes the *literal* "o" options), is not truly representative of what can be enjoyed here IMHO.

            2. re: foodwhisperer

              It isn't my experience that Kanoyama is up there with Yasuda, though perhaps I'll give kobetokibo's suggestion a shot.

            3. re: kobetobiko

              when they were still Koi and Iso, the fake omakase was pretty amazing.

              1. re: Ricky

                I thought Hasaki was pretty solid.

                Nori isn't amazing, it is good for the price point ($1 nigiri specials) - I do hate the way they store their fish though - very unorganized and unsightly.

                1. re: cubeoccupant

                  i usually order the "fake" omakase sushi off the menu and it's almost always great and definitely an amazing deal. for $32 you get soup/salad, 8 pieces of sushi (not your standard tuna, salmon, etc. but usually a piece of sea eel, blue fin toro, uni, and 5 other stellar fish), a half roll of toro/shiso and a dessert.

                  1. re: jon

                    i don't know, i went to kanoyama a few weeks ago and felt the sushi was off. we ordered a bunch of dishes to share and i really liked everything i had -except- for the sushi. could possibly be because it was a sunday night?

                    1. re: emma

                      Were you sitting at the sushi bar? They don't save the best stuff to those who order random rolls and sushi. The best stuff are saved for omakase at the sushi bar.

                      That said, sunday is the day when they can only work with what's left since Friday. Definitely not a good day for sushi.

                      1. re: kobetobiko

                        you can buy fish on saturday.....

                        1. re: thew

                          But Kanoyama flies in fish from Japan on Thursdays and Tuesdays.

                          1. re: kobetobiko

                            I was at Kanoyama last night (on Saturday) and the meal was inferior to the superior dinner I had on a Tuesday a few weeks ago.

                        2. re: kobetobiko

                          kobe is right ,,,sunday and monday bad days for sushi. Especially at Kanoyama who has the best selection of japanese fish. Where did the highest government officials go to eat last year in NYC ,,,, not Yasuda ,, they reserved the whole sushi bar at Kanoyama. The "real : ' omakase prepared by Nobu-san is excellent

                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                            how much will the chefs omakase run you at Kanoyama? Can you choose how much you're willing to spend before hand and let them know?

                            1. re: jayseeca

                              The "Super" omakase (Kanoyama's label, not mine!) has generally run me from $150-$250 per person. However, you can also just tell them a price, and they'll cater the fish types/quantity to your needs. I personally think it is up there with Yasuda and 15 East among the best in the city, but the pieces are sliced a little more thickly than what I prefer (I like the thinner slices at 15 East the best).

                              Also, if you are sure you want this "Super" omakase, you can make a reservation even on Fri's and Sat's. They have a no-res policy during rush-hour on those nights, but they will make an exception for the Super omakase diners.

                          2. re: kobetobiko

                            Monday isnt a good day either for sushi

                      2. re: cubeoccupant

                        hasaki was solid in its day. Before the really high quality fish was available here.

                2. Just came back from an early dinner at Hasaki and I think that place is still great. Before 6:30 they have a Twilight dinner for $20 that's more food than I can eat in one sitting and the sushi is very fresh.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hellomarisa

                    I'm very happy to hear that Hasaki is still solid. I think their prices went up. They used to be very good AND scandalously cheap. Now I guess they're still solid, and merely inexpensive. :-) I haven't been there for a couple of years. I should check it out again.

                  2. Oh, please, the fetishization of these supposed temples of gastronomy like Sushi Yasuda or Jewel Bako is sheer lunacy and a publicist's joke, perpetrated by the likes of Zagat. There is no difference whatsoever between the highly touted 'pristine' quality of fish served at places like SY and JB and places like Kayonama or Kyo Ya or even Sapporo East , for that matter, except for the price and the fact that you won't leave hungry if you eat at any of the latter places. Those who think differently are simply deluded in their elitism.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: workintheater

                      i ate at yasuda before i joined CH or ever heard any of the hype. eat at kanoyama often.

                      as soon as i went to yasuda it was instantly my special occasion place, again, before ever hearing the hype.

                      1. re: workintheater

                        Sapporo East = Yasuda? "no difference whatsoever"?

                        If your chief argument for Sapporo East is that it's cheaper and "you won't leave hungry," I'm not convinced. What else do you like about its fish?