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Please help decide between EN Japanese Brasserie, Sushi of Gari,Matsugen and Zengo

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After considering quite a few choices around for city for asian/japanese cuisine, I narrowed it down to the once above (EN Japanese Brasserie, Sushi of Gari,Matsugen and Zengo). Special occasion but nothing too crazy - just two people. I love sashimi and and appreciate good sake; while my boyfriend is more "crazy dragon roll with bunch of crunchy tempura" type of guy:)
Please, based on personal experiences, help to make a call!
Dinner is planned for tomorrow (Saturday) night!
Thank you!

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Zengo
622 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

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  1. Based on my one lunch each at Matsugen & EN, they are not particularly good choices for a crazy dragon roll type of guy. Matsugen has nice - not spectacular - soba, and I was impressed by EN's sashimi, less so by their fresh tofu. Your boyfriend may find both too precious and austere.

    2 Replies
    1. re: small h

      Thank you very much for your reply.I will probably go with EN ....can't resist the place with good sashimi:)

      1. re: Mila_NYC

        I'm a crazy dragon roll kind of girl and let me just say I was blown away by gari. I mean blown away! I got the tuna of gari - is there a specific type of fish he likes bc he can get a whole different array of the fish prepared different ways.

    2. I think Gari would be perfect. I've been there twice, as a compromise between my preference (Yasuda) and my DH's (something more creative). It actually hit a nice sweet spot, where the sushi usually didn't completely overwhelm the flavor of the fish, but had enough of a "twist." Now, that said, my DH loves Yasuda too; he just loves those monster rolls just as much.

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      Gari
      370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

      1 Reply
      1. re: PegS

        I agree with PegS -- I appreciate pristine, traditional fish, but Gari (I think we went to the UWS one) was also very good and very creative. Worth trying at least once if you can stand the price tag.

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        Gari
        370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

      2. Had one of my worst meal experiences at EN. The service is un-attentive, the food mediocre and the prices well, overpriced. Avoid at all costs.

        1. Considering you described your bf as a "crazy dragon roll...kind of guy" I'd have to agree with others and also suggest Gari. Haven't specifically been to that Gari (UWS location) but to his other location on the UES, he is known for very innovative "modern" sushi which involves lots of unconventional, yet successful garnishes to accent the fish. Word of advice, if you decide to go with Gari and its still available, I'd suggest seating at the bar where you can see everything being made.

          Wasn't too impressed with EN Japanese Brasserie and echo small h's comments about Matsugen being more of a restaurant specializing in soba.

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          Gari
          370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

          Matsugen
          241 Church Street, New York, NY 10013