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Sushi of Gari

c
citykid426 Feb 17, 2011 08:32 AM

Ate there about 5 times since January 2011 (the Upper East Side location) and I am OBSESSED with the omakase menu and with inventive sushi generally. Japanese is my favorite cuisine (whether it's sushi, street food, noodles, etc.). I just made a reservation to go to Yasuda and am wondering how the omakase compares. I'm asking because I heard Yasuda himself is leaving or has left already to go back to Japan...

  1. c
    citykid426 Feb 21, 2011 09:07 AM

    Yowza! Kurumazushi omakase starts at $250.
    Have not had the triple decker at Seki yet, it looks delicious.

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    Kurumazushi
    7 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

    1. f
      fooder Feb 20, 2011 05:23 PM

      I've been to Gari, 15 East, Masa, and Kurumazushi each once.
      I've been to Seki and Yasuda many times (thought not after Yasuda left)

      Gari (the original) is good for that inventive type of sushi, and probably has the largest variety of different combinations. The other branches are not as good as the original.

      Seki is good and the triple decker is the single best piece of inventive sushi I've ever eaten.
      http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot.com/2010/05/another-sushi-seki-review-food.html

      Yasuda is more traditional style sushi, with the best rice, and the taste comparisons are across pieces (many types of each fish), as opposed to flavor combinations on one piece. He gets his eel fresh from Chinatown and his cooked shrimp comes from Mexico.

      15 East is also more traditional style sushi, amongst the best in NYC. The innovation and combinations tend to come from the kitchen rather than the sushi bar.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/716611

      Kurumazushi is one of the more expensive meals in the city, easily rivalling Per Se but not as bad as Masa. The fish is the main attraction and the sashimi is better than the sushi. This is the most traditional of the sushi places, as they don't even serve salmon sushi (they do serve a smoked salmon version).

      Masa is the most expensive, and uses the most expensive ingredients. The flavor combinations are more pronounced in the first round of dishes than the sushi. However, I didn't find anything particularly innovative.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/756018

      1 Reply
      1. re: fooder
        guttergourmet Feb 21, 2011 02:39 AM

        I have been to every sushi bar worth mentioning dozens or more times (except Masa for which I'm saving my yen, though I've been to Bar Masa). Agree with Fooder but need to add Soto for it's prepared dishes and Ushi Wakamaru.

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        Bar Masa
        10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

        Masa
        10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

      2. c
        citykid426 Feb 20, 2011 01:12 PM

        Thanks, I will try 15 East. Have not been to Masa or Kurumazushi. Masa seems like an insane amount of money. I'm not sure if it's worth it, but then again people on Chowhound have said it's amazing and worth paying for... By the way, I'm talking about the restaurant, not the bar, which I heard is not as good. But even if I went to a place like Masa, I don't like the idea of getting a plain "piece" of something, like just toro or just salmon. That's why I mentioned that I liked the eel at Yasuda, because it was one of the few pieces I ordered (after eating a 10 piece omakase) that was infused with all sorts of flavors, so it wasn't just like I was eating eel alone. The eel had a crunch and it was wrapped in something, maybe seaweed. I like it when the chefs layer the fish with a sauce, a vegetable, etc. whatever complements the type of fish I'm eating... hence my love of Seki and Gari.

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        15 East
        15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

        Kurumazushi
        7 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

        Masa
        10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

        1 Reply
        1. re: citykid426
          u
          uwsister Feb 20, 2011 04:39 PM

          If you thought Yasuda was too plain, you will not like Kurumazushi. While I personally haven't been, from what I've heard and know they serve very clean, very traditional type of sushi. Masa would be right up your alley though. I have a friend who's lucky enough to be a regular at Masa, and she raves about their foie gras.

        2. a
          AdamD Feb 20, 2011 06:02 AM

          I really like Gari's inventive sushi, but its very different from traditional sushi restaurants. You really cant compare them IMHO. Once you reach that level of quality, its purely subjective.

          And I agree that Yasuda has the best eel. Same with the shrimp-which reminds of what shrimp used to taste like before the Asian mud pond shrimp took over the world.

          I tend to prefer traditional sushi. I am dying to try Masa, but I just cant do $500 for a meal unless it comes with a very happy ending. ;)

          1 Reply
          1. re: AdamD
            g
            gutsofsteel Feb 20, 2011 06:36 AM

            Try 15 East.

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            15 East
            15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

          2. c
            citykid426 Feb 19, 2011 07:01 PM

            Ate at Sushi Seki tonight. This whole week has been full of sushi restaurants... next week it'll be time to try something different. I loved Seki! My husband and I had the omakase and it was right along the lines of Sushi of Gari- delicious and inventive! No soy sauce necessary. Some of the sushi pieces were almost the same as Gari but then there were others (like the baby shrimp) that I thought were authentic to Seki. I would agree with other reviews on Chowhound that Gari is more expensive a slightly fancier in presentation than Seki, but I think what Seki lacks in fanciness it makes up for with its sake menu. MUCH BETTER in my opinion than Gari AND Yasuda. Yasuda basically offered four or five kinds of sake by the glass and didn't describe the flavors or the quality (didn't say whether the glass I was buying was jumai ginjo, daiginjo, etc.), Gari had a few decent bottles, but Seki had a whole separate menu ranging from inexpensive glasses/bottles to sake that went for more than $300. We picked something in the middle, the Thedorikawa (sp?), which was about $60, and it was delicious!!! It was on the chef's choice part of the menu and I thought that it was complex enough to go with the omakase pieces.

            I have friends who prefer to stick to the more traditional sushi at Yasuda, and I'm certainly glad I went there to have the experience, but for now I think I'll stick to paying for the style I most prefer, which is the more inventive style sushi where you don't need the soy sauce...

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            Gari
            370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

            1 Reply
            1. re: citykid426
              g
              gutsofsteel Feb 20, 2011 04:55 AM

              citykid, have you been to Masa and Kurumazushi?

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              Kurumazushi
              7 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

              Masa
              10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

            2. c
              citykid426 Feb 19, 2011 10:02 AM

              Went to Yasuda last night and I have to say that I thought the omakase was just ok. The other dishes off the menu were MUCH better. My favorite was the anago (eel). I don't know if I've just gotten used to Gari and it's sauces/garnishes or what, but the omakase at Yasuda seemed "plain"...

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              Gari
              370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

              4 Replies
              1. re: citykid426
                u
                uwsister Feb 19, 2011 06:44 PM

                Yasuda does have the best eel ever.

                I think you are right - you prefer Gari's style of sushi, which is more inventive. I can see how Yasuda would seem "plain" compared to Gari. I personally prefer Yasuda though.

                1. re: uwsister
                  daffyduck Feb 20, 2011 05:03 PM

                  i think 15 East has better eel than Yasuda. both are very good though.

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                  15 East
                  15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                  1. re: daffyduck
                    u
                    uwsister Feb 20, 2011 06:41 PM

                    I'd have to disagree - I think Yasuda has/had the best eel I've had stateside. I love 15 East but eel-wise they're no match. JIMO of course.

                    1. re: uwsister
                      daffyduck Feb 20, 2011 07:55 PM

                      which eels do you like best at Yasuda, I remember only trying 3 out of the 5. my favorite was the fresh white water eel. I only tried one eel from 15 East, I don't remember which it was but it was in the sushi omakase. (Sorry I'm a sushi newb). I should hit up both places again for a reassessment.

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                      15 East
                      15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

              2. c
                citykid426 Feb 17, 2011 08:52 AM

                No, but I did read that the chef at Sushi Seki used be at Gari. So I may give it a try just to see how it compares...

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                Gari
                370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

                4 Replies
                1. re: citykid426
                  g
                  gutsofsteel Feb 17, 2011 08:55 AM

                  Also sometime you should try Gari on the upper west side - sit in the middle with the head chef there for omakase...

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                  Gari
                  370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

                  1. re: gutsofsteel
                    d
                    drumwine Feb 17, 2011 10:15 AM

                    Have been to all three. As another fan of creative sushi, Sushi of Gari (from Gari himself) is in a class by itself. Yasuda & Seki are very different experiences....high quality, yes, but you probably would miss the melted tofu, toasted pine nuts & floral essences.

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                    Gari
                    370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

                    1. re: drumwine
                      g
                      gutsofsteel Feb 17, 2011 10:25 AM

                      Seki is somewhere between Yasuda and Gari in terms of "creative" sushi.

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                      Gari
                      370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

                      1. re: gutsofsteel
                        s
                        sushiman Feb 20, 2011 10:16 PM

                        Yasuda is not creative at all.

                2. g
                  gutsofsteel Feb 17, 2011 08:43 AM

                  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

                  I haven't tried with the new chef yet, but I intend to. But Yasuda is not in the inventive/creative category...

                  Have you tried Sushi Seki?

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