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Seeking sushi in the West Village, less pricey and snooty than Sushi Samba, but still special

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My Mom and Sister are in town and in the West Village. They want me to meet them after I get out of work (at 7pm) for sushi. Yes, Sushi Samba on 7th is convenient, but overpriced, and the staff is obnoxious. Please recommend another yummy sushi place in the area if you are able. We enjoy fresh sashimi and an interesting roll or 2 is always good. Must have cocktails.
Thanks chow-hounders!

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SushiSamba 7
87 Seventh Avenue South, New York, NY 10014

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  1. sushi samba isnt really sushi. do you want hardcore sushi? id suggest ushiwakamaru on houston. for more cooked japanese but high end, i like soto on 6th ave near west 4th.

    1. Haven't actually eaten at either (I can only afford really cheap sushi on my grad student budget) but have heard great things about Tomoe and Blue RIbbon Sushi...not sure about the price differential between those and Sushi Samba but I feel confident the quality at Tomoe and Blue RIbbon Sushi is miles better than Sushi Samba!

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      SushiSamba 7
      87 Seventh Avenue South, New York, NY 10014

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jess321

        Blue Ribbon Sushi is good, but overpriced for what it is. If $ is no object, it's not a bad choice, but know that for the same amount of $, you can get top notch sushi at Yasuda instead.

        I wouldn't recommend Tomoe if you're a sushi purist, the fish is sliced way too big/thick. It's also overpriced for the grade of fish served. Plus there will probably be a wait since there's almost always a line outside the restaurant.

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        Blue Ribbon Sushi
        119 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

      2. 1. What's your budget per person after tax+tips+drinks?
        2. What kind of atmosphere are you looking for or does it not matter as long as the sushi is good?
        3. Are you looking to order just sushi, or would you like to mix it up with some small plates as well?
        4. Does it have to be in the West Village, and if not, are you open to Soho/Tribeca/East Village?
        5. Does the restaurant have to have funky rolls, or are you perfectly happy with a place that only serves the more traditional rolls (e.g. negihama, negitoro, eel cucumber, salmon avocado)?
        6. Do you prefer a) slightly non-traditional Japanese restaurants where they serve gigantic pieces of fish for their sashimi/nigiri sushi, or b) purely authentic/traditional Japanese restaurants where they serve what most Americans consider as smaller pieces of fish (this is the "correct" way that fish is sliced in Japan)

        3 Replies
        1. re: Noodle fanatic

          Eel cucumber and salmon avocado are traditional rolls?...And why do you think large pieces of fish are not authentic or traditional? I only hear Americans saying this sort of thing.

          1. re: Silverjay

            Well ok they're not as traditional as tekka maki is, but they're much more traditional than the funky rolls in the states where they put 3 different types of fish inside the roll topped with tempura crunch etc. Silverjay - please enlighten us on what the traditional Japanese sashimi/sushi experience should be with regards to the thickness and size/piece, I honestly think that a place like Tomoe has the slicing all wrong (way too thick). Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word traditional... maybe "sushi purist" would have been a more correct term? When I think sushi purist, I think someone who is looking for real wasabi, perfect fish to rice ratio, the proper togetherness of the rice (packed not too tightly/loosely), the proper vinegar to rice ratio, the right temperature, nori that is almost crisp and not totally wet and chewy, etc. etc. Silverjay - what's your background with real Japanese food? I'm taking you're either from Japan or have traveled there extensively? You caught me, my passport says American, but I'm really just a third-culture kid from Hong Kong who's traveled and eaten in Japan for years... (外人じゃなくて、少し日本語お話せて、香港からの中国アメリカ人です。)

            1. re: Noodle fanatic

              Those ARE funky American rolls. They’re not Japanese. Eel in a roll? With a raw vegetable? Cooked fish with raw vegetables? Salmon in a roll? With avocados? I met a young sushi chef in Hokkaido a couple years ago who’s jaw dropped when I told him avocado made its’ way into sushi in the States. “Aren’t they from Mexico?,” he asked….A big thick slab of toro or winter fattened buri or other similar items is a decadent treat. People in Japan line up for good value, good quality shops that serve like this. I like the expensive pinky slivers of fish-to-rice ratio stuff too. But small or balanced size is not a requisite for authenticity or tradition. There are 100+ year-old woodblock prints and old books with sketches of “healthy” sized nigiri-zushi…I’m American. If I were to count on my fingers the number of years I’ve spent in Japan, I would need to also use my toes.

        2. The Lobster Place on Bleecker St. has good sushi. You can order something freshly made. This is a fish store and not a restaurant, but consider it as a backup.

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          The Lobster Place
          252 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014