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Sushi of Gari

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...

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  1. 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?

    1. 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

        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

          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

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

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            Gari
            370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

      2. 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

          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

            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

              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

                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. 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

            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. 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

              Try 15 East.

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