Special Sushi dinner on a tight law student budget
After living and working in the City for several years I'm now back in school and trying to learn to live within my means. However, I have been planning to get a little crazy and go for a special sushi dinner, but unfortunately I'll be treating for 2 (and he eats like a house, although I can put forward a pretty respectable showing as well).
I know we won't be able to leave stuffed, but I want to try to spend 200 total (including drinks, but we probably won't be drinking much, tax and tip). I'm trying to figure out where to go. I'm not opposed to going somewhere I've been before, although it would probably be more fun to go somewhere new. I'm sort of a purist so, for example, I Iean more towards Yasuda then Gari.
Of the better sushi restaurants, I've been to Yasuda, 15 East, Kanoyama, Gari, Shimizu.
Kuruma is obviously too expensive and I don't think Soto is what I'm looking for.
I'm thinking that my best options for a great meal w/in budget are: 1) Ushi Wakamaru or 2) Kanoyama (although I've been multiple times). Azabu seems like a possibility too, although I don't know a lot about it and am concerned about reports of inconsistency. Any suggestions about where I'd do best?
IMO Ushi Wakamaru is definitely the right play. The sushi is terrific (the cooked dishes are also good) and you can eat lavishly within your budget.
I've been to Shimizu twice. The first time was several years ago and I was disappointing. I gave it another shot earlier this year because it has a pretty devoted fan base. I was even way more disappointed on the return visit.
Ever been to Inase?
The fish I've had there has always been top notch. For some reason it hasn't gotten a lot of attention. I've seen a number of Japanese families dining there, which I take as a good sign. It's very traditional (no crazy rolls, etc), but from your post it sounds like that's ok.
They have a $60 omakase that has always left me stuffed. Haven't been for a few months, so I forget the exact portions but I remember it was 3-4 appetizers, 10 pieces of sashimi, and 10 pieces of sushi + one roll. I think dessert too.
They are a bit out of the way (83rd and 1st) but the only sushi I've had in the city that's better has been far more expensive (ie Yasuda & 15 East, both which you mentioned anyways).
Hope that helps. And if you end up finding something better in your price range, let me know so I can try it :)