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Best sushi in Manhattan

withabandon Dec 8, 2011 02:32 PM

I'm returning to my home town for another visit. Have lived in Los Angeles area for decades now, but always love "going home". I'd like to hear from New Yorkers- what is the best sushi bar you know?

Thanks!

  1. d
    dyrewolf Dec 8, 2011 02:35 PM

    If price is no option... Yasuda (or Masa but that is silly money)

    -----
    Sushi Yasuda
    204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

    Masa
    10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

    2 Replies
    1. re: dyrewolf
      g
      gutsofsteel Dec 8, 2011 03:05 PM

      15 East - I'm not sure it's "the best" but it's very good and the chef is delightful.

      (Yasuda is not that expensive)

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

      1. re: gutsofsteel
        f
        foodie66 Aug 18, 2012 10:03 AM

        I actually think it is the best, and Masato (the chef) is fantastic... not cheap, but a great atmosphere with the best sushi in Manhattan. Forget Yasuda, Gari, etc -- this is a notch above!

    2. u
      uwsister Dec 9, 2011 08:17 PM

      Best sushi is probably Masa, but you know we're talking Urasawa-kind of money and not everyone can spend that much on one meal.

      My faves are Yasuda and 15 East.

      1. Pedr0 Dec 10, 2011 10:48 AM

        Unless you spend $$$$, you're goin to be disappointed with most places here if you're used to Nozawa, Gen, Hiko.

        Not precisely sushi but you might try Desnuda in the East Village.

        -----
        Desnuda
        122 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

        8 Replies
        1. re: Pedr0
          u
          uwsister Dec 11, 2011 11:03 AM

          IMO Yasuda and 15 East are much better than Nozawa, and honestly you won't spend *that* much money, especially Yasuda where you can get out for $100/person without too much difficulty. I've never been to Hiko, and Gen it's not the best comparison since it's all about dirt-cheap lunch specials. High-end sushi-wise, NYC can easily compete w/ L.A. It's those good $50/person range spots that NYC lack.

          1. re: uwsister
            Pedr0 Dec 11, 2011 02:28 PM

            Yasuda is decent but for the price, I don't think the fish cuts it.

            1. re: Pedr0
              u
              uwsister Dec 11, 2011 04:24 PM

              If you think Nozawa is better than Yasuda, I'm afraid we will have to agree to disagree.

              1. re: uwsister
                waxyjax Dec 11, 2011 04:57 PM

                wanted to chime in and say that Gen didn't live up to the hype. 15 East (have yet to try Yasuda) is definitely better.

                1. re: uwsister
                  Pedr0 Dec 11, 2011 05:58 PM

                  The quality of fish I've had at Yasuda is all over the place, sometimes good sometimes it's pretty meh. Nozawa has always, in my experience, been consistently excellent.

                  1. re: uwsister
                    p
                    Pookipichu Dec 26, 2011 09:18 AM

                    re: uwsister

                    +1 Yasuda is better than Nozawa

                    1. re: Pookipichu
                      u
                      uwsister Jan 7, 2012 01:30 AM

                      To me they are not even in the same league.

                2. re: uwsister
                  s
                  sam1 Dec 11, 2011 03:17 PM

                  totally agreed on all points.

              2. t
                thegforceny Dec 11, 2011 04:33 PM

                15 East, slight edge over Yasuda.

                21 Replies
                1. re: thegforceny
                  Wilfrid Dec 11, 2011 04:40 PM

                  15 East is excellent, the chef is charming, but Yasuda gets a broader range of fish, and the rice - if you care - is definitely better. Nothing wrong with 15 East, but Yasuda is best unless you are OK with Masa/Kuruma Zushi stratospheric prices.

                  1. re: Wilfrid
                    s
                    Simon Dec 11, 2011 08:42 PM

                    the 3 varieties of uni, plus 15+ kinds of fish and shellfish i had at 15 East recently in the omakase was better than anything i've had at Yasuda...and rice was equal/better imo...and infinitely better atmosphere...and wine pairings available at 15 East...imo, there's no comparison...personally i see no reason to go to Yasuda when i can have better sushi at 15 East, or better price-point-with-still-great-fish/more-pleasant-vibe at Ushiwakamaru...

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

                    1. re: Simon
                      s
                      sushiman Dec 12, 2011 06:17 AM

                      THis is correct.

                      Some of the difference in rice preference could be the difference in the way they are made. Yasuda and 15 East make their rice differently. Different vinegars mean different tastes.

                      That being said 15 East is far better.

                      Other good choices are Shinbashi, Seki, Ushiwakamaru, Kanoyma(If you want variety) and not sushi, Kyo Ya.

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

                      Kanoyama
                      175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                      Ushiwakamaru
                      136 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                      Kyo Ya
                      94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                      Shinbashi
                      7 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017

                      1. re: sushiman
                        r
                        Ricky Dec 12, 2011 06:36 AM

                        Put me on the 15 East is better group as well. Not only is the sushi superior, but the cooked dishes(hamo, tako, soba), japanese style desserts(soba tofu, sakekasu ice cream, zensai), wine/sake list are superior, not a fan of their western style desserts.

                        1. re: sushiman
                          g
                          gutsofsteel Dec 12, 2011 07:27 AM

                          Completely agree.

                          1. re: gutsofsteel
                            f
                            foodie66 Aug 18, 2012 10:08 AM

                            agree, except I actually like the desserts! :-)

                        2. re: Simon
                          f
                          foodwhisperer Dec 12, 2011 09:06 PM

                          15 East is IMHO the best sushi in Manhattan. Yasuda is good for eel. Chef Yasuda was an "eel man" in Japan. Nuf said . For modern style sushi Sushi of Gari which is more like Sushi Roku in LA area

                          1. re: foodwhisperer
                            s
                            sushiman Dec 13, 2011 08:26 AM

                            Yasuda has been here since he was 18, not sure when he found time to be an "eel man" in Japan.

                            I did here through the grapevine that he is about to open in Tokyo in a fancy neighborhood.

                            1. re: foodwhisperer
                              u
                              uwsister Dec 14, 2011 10:02 PM

                              Yasuda does serve fantastic eel - and a friend of mine who's a regular at Masa and Urasawa agrees that Yasuda's eel is tops. Perhaps I should use a past sentence though, as I haven't been back since his departure.

                              1. re: uwsister
                                s
                                sushiman Dec 15, 2011 08:21 AM

                                Truth be told, his eel was really good. That was my favorite part of the meal. He always had 4-6 different preparations. All grilled variations.

                                My point is that he never did it in Japan.

                                The king of anago in NYC is Nakajima at Shinbashi. His eel is sublime.

                                1. re: sushiman
                                  g
                                  gutsofsteel Dec 15, 2011 10:16 AM

                                  Sublime indeed.

                                2. re: uwsister
                                  y
                                  Yaxpac Dec 15, 2011 08:22 AM

                                  I find Masa's eel at 15 East to be at least as good if not better than at Yasuda. It is his trademark item.

                                  1. re: Yaxpac
                                    f
                                    foodwhisperer Dec 22, 2011 07:27 PM

                                    I think Masa's eel at 15 East is the best , Yasuda did have more varieties of eel and I did like the eel at Yasuda. As far as Yasuda being an :"eel man in Japan" I heard it from Japanese friends of mine that say they knew him. It is quite possible that they were wrong and sushi man is correct. That said, if Yasuda was here in US since he was 18 years old, then he is surely not a trained sushi chef, who put in his 7 years in Japan under a sushi master. Massa at 15 East is in fact a trained sushi chef, whose Master still has a restaurant in Japan , and is good friends of Jiro , the oldest sushi chef in Japan, and perhaps the most famous.

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

                                    Sushi Yasuda
                                    204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

                                    1. re: foodwhisperer
                                      r
                                      Ricky Dec 23, 2011 06:53 AM

                                      There used to be a place in Manhattan that specialized in grilled eel, perhaps Yasuda used to work here.

                                      1. re: foodwhisperer
                                        s
                                        sushiman Dec 23, 2011 08:45 AM

                                        Yasuda was an apprentice at Hatsuhana and worked there for years, right up until he opened his own restaurant. When he started the head Chef was Hiro, then Shin Tsujimura and since Shin went to Nobu, Seki.

                                        So he was trained, here at Hatsuhana.

                                        1. re: sushiman
                                          y
                                          Yaxpac Dec 30, 2011 09:19 AM

                                          I find Seki to be a very good chef. I enjoy sitting in front of him at Hatsuhana. I find the other chefs to be a significant step down.

                                          About Shinbashi...I have had dramatically different experiences over 4 visits. As mentioned, the only way to go there is to sit in front of Nakajima on a Thursday or Friday. I did enjoy his sushi quite a bit, especially his conger eel. However, I was VERY off put by the service there, especially by Nakajima himself. There was a clear separation between the Japanese clientele and the non-Japanese clientele. It was to the point where it became uncomfortable and to be frank...it pissed me off. I don't need to be clearly mocked and joked about as if I didn't "understand" what I was eating. When discussing Shirako I was spoken down to like a child, followed by rousing laughter amongst both the chefs and the patrons. I was hesitant to even post this but it should be known, especially with the chearleading for this place that often occurs on chowhound.

                                          I have never felt this way at any other restaurant of any designation and for this reason, I will never return. There is better sushi elsewhere in a much more comfortable setting. There are too many caveats to getting the "good stuff" there that does not exist at othe places.

                                          Service aside...the sushi at 15 East and Yasuda is heads and shoulders better than Shinbashi (with Nakajima on a Thursday or Friday).

                                          -----
                                          Shinbashi
                                          7 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017

                                          1. re: Yaxpac
                                            h
                                            halo Dec 30, 2011 12:09 PM

                                            thanks for the report. cancelled my resv for tonight. 15 east had a spot!

                                        2. re: foodwhisperer
                                          Delucacheesemonger Dec 30, 2011 08:19 AM

                                          Had the eel at 15 East a few weeks ago and it was, indeed, otherworldly. Almost puffy and soft, it melted on the tongue

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

                                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                            n
                                            Nancy S. Dec 30, 2011 10:14 AM

                                            Did you try both types? I think the eel at 15 East is excellent, but I do prefer one over the other.

                                            1. re: Nancy S.
                                              Delucacheesemonger Dec 30, 2011 12:40 PM

                                              That night he was serving anago, finest l have experienced since Sawada in Tokyo.

                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                n
                                                Nancy S. Dec 30, 2011 01:00 PM

                                                Excellent. I'm going there in a few weeks and look forward especially to the eel, and the brilliant soba.

                            2. s
                              SamanthaNYC Dec 11, 2011 06:56 PM

                              Yasuda serves great sushi and is perfect for its price point. Don't need to spend crazy amounts of money on Masa. Book early - not easy to get a reservation.

                              1. a
                                AdamD Dec 23, 2011 10:13 AM

                                Once you reach the level of Yasuda or 15 East it is a matter of preference.
                                I like hatsuhana when I dont want to spend $100+ for omakase.

                                -----
                                Hatsuhana
                                17 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: AdamD
                                  f
                                  foodwhisperer Dec 25, 2011 10:51 AM

                                  Hatsuhana is the original "best sushi" in Manhattan (in the 70's and 80's) always zagat #1 for sushi. The head chef at Nobu 57 came from Hatsuhana. The head chef from Bouley's Upstairs, was executive chef at Hatsuhana. Hatsuhana in Chicago ( now closed) was the best sushi in Chicago. Hatsuhana, still has quality fish, and if you get the right sushi chef there, you can have some amazing sushi. The clientele is still mostly Japanese, and I saw Al Roper there twice haha

                                  -----
                                  Hatsuhana
                                  17 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017

                                  1. re: foodwhisperer
                                    s
                                    sushiman Dec 25, 2011 07:51 PM

                                    One of the best chef;s in NYC works at Hatsuhana, but unfortunately he has to do it their way and not his own.

                                    1. re: foodwhisperer
                                      kosmose7 Dec 25, 2011 08:06 PM

                                      You are right. And Mr. Yasuda himself used to work at Hatsuhana and one of his regular customers, Rosenberg, suggested Mr. Yasuda and Mr. Akimoto, then hall manager at Hatsuhana, to open a business together and they agreed... Thus Sushi Yasuda was born.

                                    2. re: AdamD
                                      u
                                      uwsister Jan 7, 2012 01:33 AM

                                      I love Hatsuhana for the same reason. Solid, more affordable, a NYC classic.

                                    3. Cookingcutie Dec 25, 2011 08:06 PM

                                      Yasuda all the way. I've had omakase there twice and it is worth every penny. The uni is amazing and no other restaurant can equal the uni. Everything is fantastic, but it's hard to find good uni.

                                      16 Replies
                                      1. re: Cookingcutie
                                        s
                                        sushiman Dec 25, 2011 09:13 PM

                                        LOL, quite frankly I always thought that the uni was the weakest thing that he serves.

                                        1. re: sushiman
                                          Cookingcutie Dec 26, 2011 06:08 AM

                                          Where have you had better uni in Manhattan? It 's crap at any place in Westchester or Rockland County that offers it.

                                          1. re: Cookingcutie
                                            s
                                            sushiman Dec 26, 2011 03:52 PM

                                            Seriously, just about any of the other top flight places. I am not kidding, but either Yasuda reserved the worst for me or he consistently gets very mediocore uni and BSes his customers into believing that it is good. Whenever I hear how good his uni is, I am always bewildered.

                                            Variety does not equal quality. Good uni comes from many places. And the quality varies for many reasons, some seasonal, some not. I have had really good uni from about a dozen sources. They are just not all good at the same time.

                                            -----
                                            Sushi Yasuda
                                            204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

                                          2. re: sushiman
                                            f
                                            foodwhisperer Dec 29, 2011 03:32 PM

                                            Any Japanese restaurant willing to spend the money to purchase good uni, can have good uni. The best uni I have had is in Japan, and it is very very expensive. I don't think any japanese restaurant here buys the "best" uni, But I have had excellent uni and 15 East and Kanoyama. My favorite uni is from Hokkaido. But that is a matter of taste. If you get the chance to go to Tsukiji market in Japan, check out all the different grades of uni. Much of the lower quality uni goes to France, for them to cook with.

                                            1. re: sushiman
                                              a
                                              ASL123 Jan 5, 2012 01:08 PM

                                              There seems to be a hatred of Sushi Yasuda by a handful of people on this thread. These same people have attacked this restaurant in previous threads over the years. I've been to Yasuda over 50+ times in the past 8 years. I've been there since Yasuda left and did not notice a drop off in quality. In fact, the level of consistency was very high and we've never had a bad meal. Could things change? It is a possibility. For now, they still have great rice, great nori, and a nice variety of fish. Very few places can compete in NYC with this quality of sushi and setting when combined with the price. Also, I believe you will get a good sushi meal no matter what chef is in front of you. This I cannot say about other sushi places mentioned above. You can enjoy a good sushi meal at Yasuda for a lower price than many of the top sushi joints. The sushi matsu is a great deal and I usually then add additional pieces and rolls. Does the place have quirks? It does, such as the seating times. I also wish they had seasonal specialties or rotate a few new items into the menu. It is also no secret that the cooked dishes are a weakness of the restaurant.

                                              The biggest Yasuda basher constantly mentions Shinbashi. I went there over the summer and it was terrible. I mean everything about the meal was bad including the service, the cooked dishes, and the sushi. Complete amateur hour. I guess it was my fault because I didn't speak Japanese. To tell people that you must eat with only 1 chef on select days does not qualify it in the running for a top NYC sushi joint IMO. I usually go to Hatsuhana on the occasion I didn't plan ahead with a Yasuda reservation. I like the place but If we go, we only sit with the top chef otherwise the sushi is mediocre at best. Sushi Seki is an above average sushi joint, but varies on consistency. I think the atmosphere isn't great either. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think Sushi of Gari is a joke. Overpriced with creative sauces that just overpower the taste of the fish. I recently tried 15 East and enjoyed my meal, the atmosphere, and the service. The cooked dishes were far superior to Yasuda, but I felt the sushi was not as good. I will give it another try in the future, but I must say that it is pricier than Yasuda. I think it is a good option when you want to have a meal of cooked dishes and sushi in a serene, adult setting. I don't have a problem with people putting 15 East ahead of Yasuda, but the negative comments against Yasuda always seem more personal than based on facts. I recently came back from LA and had a few delicious sushi meals (Mori Sushi and Sushi DoKoRo). The uni was delicious at these places, but no real difference vs. Yasuda. To say that Yasuda's uni is weak is hilarious and sad at the same time because people are reading these BS comments. The truth is that there are many crappy sushi places in NYC and we need more higher quality places like what I found in LA.

                                              1. re: ASL123
                                                Cookingcutie Jan 5, 2012 05:59 PM

                                                I've actually stopped following this thread because it's quite tedious. I've eaten at Yasuda twice and it was absolutely sublime. In fact, I'm returning next month again, and I'm proud to spend my money there. I haven't tried any of the other places mentioned but I'm happy with Yasuda. Glad someone agrees they need to stop bashing it. And of course I'm gettint at least 2 pieces of uni!

                                                1. re: ASL123
                                                  u
                                                  uwsister Jan 7, 2012 01:46 AM

                                                  I agree with 90% of your post. The hatred for Yasuda is truly over the top. I've only read two good reviews of Shinbashi on the board - both Yasuda haters - and the rest were average or negative. So far I'm not convinced - doubt I'll ever try it.

                                                  Mori Sushi is another of my favorite sushi places. Definitely one of the best in the country. But like I said above, what we need in NYC is more high-quality, but mid-price sushi places, IMO. I honestly think high-end-wise ($100/person and up) NYC can go toe-to-toe with L.A. But mid-end-wise, I can't think of a single place in NYC that I'd recommend with confidence. In L.A. those places are dime-a-dozen.

                                                  1. re: uwsister
                                                    MVNYC Jan 7, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                    Mid range I would suggest Inase on the Upper East Side. I usually get out of there for about$60-$75 with a couple of beers. The quality is always excellent and he gets seasonal ingredients all the time (kazunoko on my last visit, one of my favorites). Sit at the bar and tell him you would like Japanese style fish and you won't be disappointed.

                                                    1. re: MVNYC
                                                      u
                                                      uwsister Jan 7, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                      Thanks for the rec - I will try it one day though I am not in the neighborhood that often. Ushiwakamaru is also another solid spot in that price range.

                                                      But of course, my point was places like that are very, very common in L.A. as opposed to we could count it in one hand in NYC.

                                                      1. re: uwsister
                                                        MVNYC Jan 8, 2012 10:37 AM

                                                        Yes it is too bad we don't have more places like that here.

                                                  2. re: ASL123
                                                    MVNYC Jan 7, 2012 08:58 AM

                                                    ASL---I agree with everything in your post, the only difference being that I haven't been to Shinbashi which seems like a place you need a "secret passcode" to get a good meal.
                                                    Yasuda has provided me many wonderful meals throughout the years and the vitriol directed at it by a few posters with personal gripes is pretty comical. I have it and 15 East on a similar level.

                                                    I agree with you fully on gari. I want to taste the fish, not some obscured piece of fish protein slathered with some good and some not so good sauces.

                                                2. re: Cookingcutie
                                                  s
                                                  Simon Dec 26, 2011 06:47 AM

                                                  i'm assuming that you haven't had the three varieties of uni (Santa Barbara, Maine, and Hokkaido) that Masato-san serves these days in the omakase at 15 East

                                                  1. re: Simon
                                                    Cookingcutie Dec 26, 2011 06:52 AM

                                                    No, but i'll have to check it out quite soon :)

                                                    1. re: Simon
                                                      Silverjay Dec 27, 2011 02:16 AM

                                                      I've had the three types togther at both 15 East and Yasuda. Both places excellent but expensive.

                                                    2. re: Cookingcutie
                                                      g
                                                      gutsofsteel Dec 26, 2011 09:05 AM

                                                      Where have you looked/tasted?

                                                      1. re: Cookingcutie
                                                        linguafood Dec 26, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                        I went there recently for the third time, having been wowed the previous visits (Yasuda was still around then). Perhaps not sitting at the bar made a difference in the experience, but I found the uni to be rather underwhelming, and the fish not nearly as transcendental as I remember it.

                                                        Must try East 15 next time!

                                                      2. h
                                                        halo Dec 26, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                        my list:

                                                        1. masa (absurdly expensive. go when someone else pays-$600)
                                                        2. kuruma (too expensive. go when someone else pays-$300)
                                                        3. 15 east (expensive. special occasions-$250)
                                                        4. ushiwakamaru (expensive. splurge once in a while$200)
                                                        5. sushi of gari ues (expensive. special occasions-$250)
                                                        6. yasuda (less expensive. once a month-$170)
                                                        7. 1 or 8 (less expensive. once a month-$150)

                                                        (cost is based on omakase at the sushi bar until full with a medium priced sake)

                                                        12 Replies
                                                        1. re: halo
                                                          g
                                                          gutsofsteel Dec 26, 2011 07:10 PM

                                                          halo, you need to get to Shinbashi

                                                          1. re: halo
                                                            Silverjay Dec 27, 2011 02:19 AM

                                                            Gari and Ushiwakamaru aren't in the same tier as the others. Shinbashi continues to get mentionrd on Japanese boards as a place to bring American colleagues for lunch.

                                                            1. re: Silverjay
                                                              g
                                                              gutsofsteel Dec 27, 2011 05:02 AM

                                                              Do yourself a favor and go to Shinbashi, sit at the sushi bar, in front of Mr. Nakajima, when it's not too crowded. Don't go with a budget in mind.

                                                              1. re: Silverjay
                                                                s
                                                                sushiman Dec 27, 2011 07:30 AM

                                                                So how do you explain all the Japanese that eat dinner there? Incuding one of the top tuna suppliers in NYC? They must not be reading those boards.

                                                                1. re: sushiman
                                                                  Silverjay Dec 27, 2011 03:49 PM

                                                                  A supplier dining at one their customer's restaurants. Go figure. I'm sure it's fine, but let's wait for a more reliable source to verify.

                                                                  1. re: Silverjay
                                                                    u
                                                                    uwsister Jan 7, 2012 01:55 AM

                                                                    Yeah, I'm sure the supplier gets no special treatments whatsoever ;)

                                                                    Isn't True World related to Moonies? Heh.

                                                                    gutsofsteel - Just curious, have you had sushi outside of NYC? i.e. Japan, other major Asian cities, Los Angeles? I'm not one of those people who believe you must have tried it at the source to know if a dish is good or not. I am simply curious.

                                                                2. re: Silverjay
                                                                  h
                                                                  halo Dec 27, 2011 04:36 PM

                                                                  in this day of age all top sushi places have the same suppliers. apollo for tuna. true world for almost everything else. for me it's not about the freshness or even choices of fish but many little things that makes it a truly great sushi restrnt. the rice is for me most important. the seasoning, temperature, ratio, all play such a huge factor in bringing out the true flavor of the fish. also the quality of soy sauce that is brushed on by the sushi chef makes a big difference. i can go on and on but i'm gonna try shinbashi later this week and i hope it's good...

                                                                  1. re: halo
                                                                    f
                                                                    foodwhisperer Dec 29, 2011 03:38 PM

                                                                    Just for the record, the same supplier does not mean the same fish. Everything is important with sushi. Everything from no bones in your anago. To how to get a tuna ready for sushi. How to store your fish. But the fish is key, how to buy the best and prepare it so it is the best.
                                                                    A movie recommendation , which will show again this year at Tribeca Film Festival is Jiro dreams of Sushi. If you havent seen it and you like sushi, SEE IT

                                                                  2. re: Silverjay
                                                                    h
                                                                    halo Dec 27, 2011 04:39 PM

                                                                    "Shinbashi continues to get mentionrd on Japanese boards as a place to bring American colleagues for lunch."

                                                                    Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

                                                                    1. re: halo
                                                                      s
                                                                      Simon Dec 27, 2011 06:58 PM

                                                                      well, surely it's not a "great" thing :)

                                                                      1. re: halo
                                                                        s
                                                                        sushiman Dec 28, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                        Go Thursday or Friday. Call and ask which day they are getting the Anago. It will be one or the other.

                                                                        1. re: halo
                                                                          f
                                                                          foodwhisperer Jan 3, 2012 06:47 PM

                                                                          i wonder where the japanese boards say as to where to bring Japanese colleagues

                                                                    2. jonkyo Jan 3, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                                      http://www.izakayamoku.com/

                                                                      Korean owned and staffed, but the sashimi platter is quite good. I have been there with seasoned eaters of raw fish who consumed such on the island of Hanshu, and in 东京 or Tokyo, and they were even delighted. It is not the kind of place for a long haul sashimi feeding session though.

                                                                      Iroha Japanese Restaurant. 152 West 49th Street. It has been there for a long time. Japanese owned and for the most part, Japanese staffed. When the Japanese were buying Rockefeller Center in the late 1980s and some US elected official was smashing Toshiba televisions in the chambers of Congress, this is were the Japanese business men went. There were others but many may have closed by now. This is your best bet for a real sit and feast place. Been going there for long time, and a Japan friend worked there a few year ago, testimony that they staff Japanese. It is where travelers from Japan feed, and has been for a very long time.

                                                                      Other than that, I hve been to places from Riverdale to Brooklyn, and all parts of Manhattan, since the landing of the the sushi craze in the mid 1990s, with sushi chefs from Hong Kong to China and even Latin America.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Iroha
                                                                      152 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

                                                                      Izakaya Moku
                                                                      10 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

                                                                      33 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jonkyo
                                                                        Silverjay Jan 4, 2012 12:41 AM

                                                                        It's actually written as 東京 in Japanese. Seems a little odd to keep posting Chinese on Japanese related threads. No?...And the island is Honshu, although it's rarely used for geographic distinction....Sashimi and sushi are really quite different dishes. Not sure about those recs you suggested. They are definitely off the grid in terms of conventional wisdom around here. What kind of fish did Izakaya Moku serve? It looks kind of like a Korean chain.

                                                                        1. re: Silverjay
                                                                          b
                                                                          bearmi Jan 4, 2012 10:01 PM

                                                                          I am so confused by the recos too. I am afraid to try them because I am not 100% convinced that they really are good, whether authentic or not (seem to be not always authentic though).

                                                                          1. re: bearmi
                                                                            Silverjay Jan 5, 2012 03:55 AM

                                                                            Yeah, sometimes on CH it can be challenging separating signal to noise.

                                                                          2. re: Silverjay
                                                                            jonkyo Jan 4, 2012 11:47 PM

                                                                            The fish, at Izakaya Moku, I did not know so much but it was good, and my accompanying cohort knew and made mention. There was mackerel, and well as a few colorful meats of fish with hints of red.

                                                                            I do not recommend Izakaya Moku for a real sashimi feasting. The dish was good, but that is all they had for raw fish basically. There were some other selections such as tuna or other spiced and with a salad type dish.

                                                                            東京 and 东京 are the same, just simplified characterization with the second. That is Mao's legacy. They did quite a job, the scholars he hired. I learned complex initially, then on the mainland, eventually one gets the gist and within less than two months or so, able to read simplified. I still adhere to having dictionaries and the like with complex, and am more fond of the dictionaries used in 中华民国 ROC Taiwan, as oppsed to pin yin or phonetic based ones in PRC 中华人和国China.

                                                                            I use Honshu for a geographical distinction. Why not. It is the main island, and if I am correct this is indicated in its characterization.本州 ‘ben’ is root and ’zhou‘ is provence. But linguistics aside, to clearify, I have long known the distinction between sashimi and sushi, and sorry if in text this got mixed up.

                                                                            Well, since you are stating my recommendations are 'off the grid', please tell us in the greater NYC area where the place is that will leave one floating on cloud 9 as they bit into the slices of raw fish and gulp down the sake. I would love to know, and the proprietors would thank you!

                                                                            1. re: jonkyo
                                                                              Silverjay Jan 5, 2012 03:52 AM

                                                                              Honshu is rarely used for travel and culinary discussions. It's typically broken down by the regions such as kanto (関東), kansai (関西), chubu (中部), chugoku(中国), tohoku (東北). And then the other major islands (九州、四国、沖縄、北海道). In Japanese and English, it is awkward, rare, to qualify an experience as occurring on honshu.

                                                                              Apologies, but I'm just skipping over any of the stuff about Chinese gobbledygook. I'm sure Chairman Mao would understand....

                                                                              The collective opinion of the Manhattan board places 15 East, Sushi Yasuda, Sushi Seki, Hatsuhana, Masa, Sushi Den, Ushiwakamaru, Kanoyama, Shimizu, and a very small handful of others as authentic good to great sushi in NYC. 1or8 in Williamsburg is also good. The traditional wisdom in Japanese dining culture is not to drink sake while eating sushi as sake is already made from rice. Some people follow this some don't. I don't really see people drink sake with sushi in Japan, but I know some do..... For sashimi recommendations, I suggest you start a new thread. Sashimi is a sort of universal appetizer in Japanese cuisine and is offered at many different types of Japanese places. I have some nice plates here and there but nothing I'd go out of my way for. The types of restaurants that I like in Japan that would do sashimi really well haven't made it over to NYC yet.

                                                                              1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                u
                                                                                Uncle Yabai Jan 5, 2012 04:36 AM

                                                                                You forgot Kuruma-zushi, which is extremely expensive but very good. Not sure if worth the money, though.

                                                                                1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                  jonkyo Jan 5, 2012 12:09 PM

                                                                                  I rarely eat sushi, rarely, and take sake with multi course sessions of sashimi, and never take rice in this sort of dining experience.

                                                                                  I will take note of the suggested places. This is very good.

                                                                                  1. re: Silverjay
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                                                                                    foodwhisperer Jan 5, 2012 09:20 PM

                                                                                    I usually eat sashimi and follow it with sushi. That is how I learned to do it in Japan, and that is how many that I know do it. here. I think the idea came from trying the varieties of fish first, then order the sushi. I prefer junmai sake with sushi as do many japanese. Many prefer beer to sake but when drinking sake the japanese that I know prefer junmai, or junmai ginjo over the more refined daiginjo. Aren't many beers made from rice too?

                                                                                    interesting blog referring to sake and sushi.

                                                                                    http://blog.wblakegray.com/2009/07/sa...

                                                                                    1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                      Silverjay Jan 6, 2012 03:05 AM

                                                                                      I've spent a lot longer time in Japan than that blogger and can attest to the fact that sake is not as popular in sushi bars as beer, whiskey, or shochu. Just came back this week having spent several weeks this time, including multiple sushi meals, and noticed not one person drinking sake. Though, each shop did have a small selection on the menu. People do drink it I'm sure. Some might only drink it during the sashimi course as well.

                                                                                      Yeah, sashimi is like a universal appetizer in Japanese cuisine and it will often be served at the beginning of a sushi meal. It's definitely not from trying the varieties of fish, but maybe some chefs treat it like that. My experience is that the chefs usually ask me if I want sashimi or not. Sometimes I do sometimes I don't. You can get well-prepared quality sashimi at many places, but can't say the same for sushi, so I usually get a little a move on to nigiri. To each their own, right?

                                                                                      1. re: Silverjay
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                                                                                        foodwhisperer Jan 7, 2012 07:01 PM

                                                                                        Silverjay, interestingly I came across one of your old posts. In that post I read that you had spent 12 years in Japan. I always have respected your knowledge of Japanese food an culture as I have enjoyed the many posts on here. I personally do enjoy sake with my sashimi and sushi. I have had beer probably just as often, the big advantage of having beer is that the bill is $100 less. A misconception that many Americans have is that ALL japanese people know about sushi, and the reality is most do not eat sushi very often. For one thing it is expensive and special. I have taken several Japanese friends to 15 East and Kanoyama and they find the sushi incredible. In Japan there are all different levels of sushi. Most of it being good, some being amazing. I have had some chefs in the "suburbs" of Tokyo make large pieces , and in Ginza small pieces, Osaka style sushi or pressed sushi you can get at Kyo Ya, In any case, the sashimi I like to have before my sushi , usually is "shiny" fish like cohada, sayori, saba, and shiokara perhaps some kind of clam. Not a lot , just a few pieces then get into sushi. I also like to have anago right before the end of a sushi meal, and lastly some oshinko. But to each their own. This hakujin loves and appreciates good sushi.

                                                                                        1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                          Silverjay Jan 8, 2012 01:41 AM

                                                                                          Hmm, I don't recall mentioning that. Must have been an older post or a shochu driven grumpy retort.?.?. I do still spend 2-4 weeks in Japan eating and traveling around every year. Do a lot of independent research on Japanese food, history, etc. too.

                                                                                          Sushi is just ubiquitous in Japan. It's not THAT expensive or special. I mean, you can get it delivered to your home. We just had some sent over at our last home meal in Tokyo a few days ago. It's gotten more and more popular and there are many chain restaurants that fall into tiers of quality. It's also big in the media as evidenced by so much coverage on tv, popular books being released, etc. The ultra high-end places, you're right, most don't go or don't go that often. That's a special occasion or for wealthy. I think most Japanese are introduced to sushi at the low to mid-levels, so their sort of expectations are more modest than say, CH sushi aficionados here on the Manhattan board who go dozens of times to a place like Yasuda or 15 East. But believe me, I read a lot of Japanese food board or blog coverage and while your friends may not be so into it, there are a LOT of extremely hardcore sushi types in Japan. I have a lot to learn, is what I always come away thinking.

                                                                                          I like mentioning the "no sake with sushi" thing because it is an interesting legacy from the origins of kaiseki and banquet cuisine. It's of course not universally followed anywhere. I love sake but prefer shochu or beer with sushi. I had a great sushi meal in Tokyo a couple weeks ago with my friend from Niigata, which is like ground zero for sake and he loves it. Was wondering what he was going to drink and wasn't surprised that he chose shochu. We went to a great sake bar afterwards though!

                                                                                          Yeah, I like uni, anago, and tamago- the sweet stuff- to finish out my sushi meals and end with a nice taste in the mouth. I'll save oshinko for the nijikai though...

                                                                                          1. re: Silverjay
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                                                                                            foodwhisperer Jan 8, 2012 04:55 PM

                                                                                            Thanks for the response Silverjay. I must clarify that my friends here and in Japan are very much"into" sushi, it is just that they do not have it very often at home or in high end restaurants as it is very expensive. They do thoroughly enjoy it when they have it, and most often is when I take them to eat it. Sushi is more popular than ever in Japan, including Kaiten sushi. I haven't had sushi in a traditional kaiseki dinner in kyoto, but there has always been a sashimi course. I had an amazing Torofugu kaiseki dinner in Kyoto, including shirako of fugu in a broth.
                                                                                            Since you go to Japan so often, if you have not checked it out, you should check out Massato-San from 15 East master's restaurant. He is a very funny guy and taught Massa well. Although their styles are completely different.

                                                                                            1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                              Silverjay Jan 8, 2012 05:24 PM

                                                                                              Cool. Yeah, sushi is not part of the traditional kaiseki canon. I guess it's changing though. I don't know. I don't have the patience for kaiseki to be honest. Haven't been to 15 East in a while. Simon or someone mentioned in another thread that Masato-san has a whole slew of Tokyo recs. I'd love to get them at some point.

                                                                                              1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                Cheeryvisage Jan 8, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                                                                I have a copy of Masa's Tokyo restaurant list here: http://flic.kr/p/aTrt56 :)

                                                                                                1. re: Cheeryvisage
                                                                                                  Silverjay Jan 8, 2012 05:46 PM

                                                                                                  Ah, thanks. Yeah, those are all well-known places. Was hoping for some hidden gems actually.

                                                                                                  1. re: Silverjay
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                                                                                                    foodwhisperer Jan 8, 2012 07:22 PM

                                                                                                    sukeroku Masa's master's place is not a well known place, and is way out of the way. But very worthwhile to check out. It is far from tourist area of Tokyo. Masa's master is good friend of Jiro ( famous oldest sushi chef), I have not been to Jiro's restaurant.
                                                                                                    The other sushi places on the list are well known. Im suprised he did not list Kyubei which is possibly the best I've had in Tokyo.
                                                                                                    Kondo is a well hidden tempura restaurant, on the 9th floor of an office building, no signage, taxis cant find it too easily. Best tempura I ever had by a real tempura master. There is no good tempura in the U.S. that I know of
                                                                                                    Kaiseki in Tokyo does not compare to best kaiseki in Kyoto.

                                                                                                    1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                      Silverjay Jan 8, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                                                                      'Cept for the sushi and oden places, these aren't really the categories of restaurants I'm interested in.....I was in Kyoto about ten days ago and kind of regret not eating kaiseki. But everytime I go to Kyoto, I realize how much I love Tokyo. Haha, no, Kyoto is a nice place.

                                                                                                      1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                        u
                                                                                                        uwsister Jan 9, 2012 02:15 AM

                                                                                                        You may be aware of it already, but perhaps other 'hounds are not - in Japan restautants being in a basement or upper floor of a building is very, very common. It's not considered "hidden" nor is it their intention. I know it's very strange to Americans - when my husband visited my mother's restaurant for the first time (located on the 3rd floor) he commented "What a horrible location!"

                                                                                                    2. re: Cheeryvisage
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                                                                                                      foodwhisperer Jan 8, 2012 07:28 PM

                                                                                                      Cheery thanks for the list.

                                                                                                      1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                        Cheeryvisage Jan 8, 2012 08:15 PM

                                                                                                        You're welcome. :)

                                                                                                        By the way, for anyone wondering, the star next to Sukeroku means it's extra special to Masa (because it's his master's place). The circle means that Masa is personally known to the restaurant listed next to it.

                                                                                                        1. re: Cheeryvisage
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                                                                                                          foodwhisperer Jan 8, 2012 09:32 PM

                                                                                                          Did you go to Sukeroku? it is special to me too. I was treated extra special. Of course it was good I was with a friend who spoke japanese, because no one there speaks any English and my japanese language skills are limited

                                                                                                          1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                            Cheeryvisage Jan 9, 2012 04:43 AM

                                                                                                            No, I haven't been, unfortunately. The star and circles were marked by Masa.

                                                                                        2. re: Silverjay
                                                                                          guttergourmet Jan 7, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                                                          I'll add Sushi Azabu to your list.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Sushi Azabu
                                                                                          428 Greenwich St (basement), New York, NY 10013

                                                                                          1. re: guttergourmet
                                                                                            f
                                                                                            foodwhisperer Jan 8, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                                                            I like Azabu, partially because it is a hidden, secret location. The ankimo and the shirako are excellent. Chef Tirado is very skilled in his sushi making. I will only eat there if he makes my sushi.
                                                                                            I wonder what percentage of sushi chefs in NYC are actual " trained 7 years in japan" sushi chefs?

                                                                                          2. re: Silverjay
                                                                                            jonkyo Jan 8, 2012 04:45 PM

                                                                                            1or8, in Williamsburg I visited this and surprising, they had natto, but did not order it as I was too busy with the fish and beer, and they could not accommodate the raw egg request, jest

                                                                                            Anyway, the beer and other drinks selection great.

                                                                                            Some of the cuts of fish in sashimi form were too small, others just right. All tasting very good.

                                                                                            My friend ordered their pork with cheese on top, and a sauce. that was interesting and great.

                                                                                            Scallops were imported from 北海道 or Hakaidou, and were so amazingly delicious.

                                                                                            Again, a bit disappointing on some of the cuts.

                                                                                            The staff had their Christmas party at Saburi, so they certainly know where other good Japanese cusine is found too.

                                                                                            Great atmosphere, but would rather been hearing 永井 then John Lennon, but thats just me.

                                                                                            For your listening pleasure: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTkyMjU...

                                                                                            1. re: jonkyo
                                                                                              Silverjay Jan 8, 2012 05:31 PM

                                                                                              1or8 is good. Like many places in the U.S., they offer a broader menu of Japanese food than you might find at a sushi restaurant in Japan- i.e. natto, pork with cheese, etc... You should hit up their shochu list sometime too...Thanks for the link, but I'm coming back from hours of Japanese classic hit marathons and contests played during the New Year's holidays on Japanese tv.

                                                                                              1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                jonkyo Jan 8, 2012 09:45 PM

                                                                                                I shall be checking out the shochu at these venues of course. Thanks.

                                                                                                I am interested in comparing the Wlliamsburg place wth venues on Manhattan, for I do gather that they are more experimental off the island that is.

                                                                                                I do not have a tv, so I miss all contests and hit marathons, but hope that was entertaining for you. I do have to say, 日本老哥好听: japan old songs sound great, and goes well with any food, not just Japanese. It is especially nice over drinking sessions with friends and food.

                                                                                            2. re: Silverjay
                                                                                              jonkyo Jan 8, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                              I will be trying some of the other selections you have metioned. That list is in my mnemonic. Thanks.

                                                                                              I will be working on that threat.

                                                                                              The tuna belly at 1 and 8 was quite good.

                                                                                              Seems my interest in the actual identification of the fish is second to my devouring it, but shall be sure to take note.

                                                                                              The sushi chefs at 1 and 8 are very good.

                                                                                              1. re: jonkyo
                                                                                                s
                                                                                                sushiman Jan 9, 2012 08:24 AM

                                                                                                Kazuo Yoshida worked at Jewel Bako a while back, I believe at the same time as Shimizu of 15 East. Then a bunch of years at Geisha in midtown. 1or 8 is constantly improving, as their business grows, so does the fish selection and quality. BTW, he prefers to serve bluefin and lately it has been coming from Boston.

                                                                                                1. re: sushiman
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                                                                                                  foodwhisperer Jan 9, 2012 11:03 PM

                                                                                                  Just for the record, Kazuo is not a "japan" trained sushi chef . Before Jewel Bako he worked as an "assistant" for Kamed- san at Kameda, on University Place. Kazuo was a hairdresser in Japan. He is a nice guy, and creative, but is not as skilled as others. After he left Geisha he worked at Sushi Samba.

                                                                                                  1. re: sushiman
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                                                                                                    foodwhisperer Aug 11, 2012 10:24 AM

                                                                                                    So that's where Kazuo is now. After Geisha he went to Sushi Samba on 7th ave south. Before Jewel Bako he was an assistant at Kameda on University place. By the time he went to Geisha , his humbleness disappeared. But he was not trained at sushi in Japan, he happened to have been a hair dresser there. But I will check him out, now that I know where he is . He did have some very creative dishes at Geisha.
                                                                                                    Speaking of sushi and sashimi,, KanoYama serves a wide variety of japanese fish, and possibly the most artistic presentations of his dishes. Interestingly he now serves sashimi (when part of omakase) on a frozen platter.. A nice touch. here's a picture of a sashimi plate I had there.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                2. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                  guttergourmet Feb 1, 2012 08:42 PM

                                                                                                  You also forgot the oft overlooked and forgotten Sushi Zen which I'd put in the first tier.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Sushi Zen
                                                                                                  108 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

                                                                                                  1. re: guttergourmet
                                                                                                    Silverjay Feb 2, 2012 03:33 AM

                                                                                                    It wasn't meant as a comprehensive list. Just a few examples.

                                                                                          3. f
                                                                                            fooder Jan 23, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                                                            Why do "best of" threads end up having posts of "this place is pretty good too" or "this place is good if you don't want to spend so much"?

                                                                                            The best tend to be the most expensive. Just a fact.

                                                                                            I consider the following four restaurants to be the best sushi bars in NYC. I have been to all four of them, and they range from very expensive to OMG expensive. I can not really separate these four, as they each have strengths and weaknesses, but I certainly can't imagine any other sushi bar that would legitimately beat two of the four in quality alone.

                                                                                            Masa
                                                                                            Prohibitively expensive. The fish is top notch, the rice is now average instead of subpar, but the key is the small dishes to start, and the things that he can do with foie gras and truffles is truly unique. In terms of ambiance, it does seem like he's going through the motions a bit and is not as engaging as other sushi chefs.
                                                                                            My most recent visit: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/756018

                                                                                            Kurumazushi
                                                                                            Prohibitively expensive depending on appetite. I remember a meal for two (hungry guys) where the food alone totaled $900. Probably the highest quality of pristine, top notch fish that can be ordered a la carte. The sashimi is probably the best in the city. Very traditional. Serves sushi in twos and does not serve raw salmon (had smoked salmon though). I remember the rice being just okay.

                                                                                            Yasuda
                                                                                            Reasonably expensive. Although personally I've never gotten out of there spending less than $250 on omakase. Then again I average almost 30 pieces as Yasuda's pieces are small. I haven't been in a while, but the rice is certainly one of the best if not the best in NYC. Certainly boasts the largest variety of sushi among the high end places. The non-sushi stuff is so-so, and there have been mediocre reviews of the sashimi.

                                                                                            15 East
                                                                                            Reasonably expensive. The most well-rounded of the bunch, including a good mix of traditional and modern. For a sushi bar with a large variety of fresh fish and shellfish, other dishes are superb as well, such as tempura, soba and the signature cooked octopus. The sushi rice also rates highly and the noticeable difference in sashimi and sushi cuts is appreciated, although his sushi may be too big for some mouths.
                                                                                            My most recent visit: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/829717

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

                                                                                            Sushi Yasuda
                                                                                            204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

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

                                                                                            Masa
                                                                                            10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                                                                                            24 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: fooder
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                                                                                              foodwhisperer Jan 23, 2012 04:58 PM

                                                                                              Fooder that is your opinion. I don't want to beat a dead horse as there are over 100 posts on this one OP's post. I don't understand your point. You say you don't think any place can beat 2 of the four in quality alone, and then you expound on what they serve etc. Kanoyama can match any of the places mentioned and beats Karumazushi, in my opinion , as far as variety, quality and price ( since you mention price). Yasuda I have personal issues with, so many places beat Yasuda in my opinion. Soto beats many of these places in terms of creativity, his small dishes are superb. 15 East happens to be my favorite sushi restaurant. Masa I have never been to although I've tried many times.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Soto
                                                                                              357 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

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

                                                                                              Sushi Yasuda
                                                                                              204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

                                                                                              Kanoyama
                                                                                              175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

                                                                                              1. re: foodwhisperer
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                                                                                                fooder Jan 23, 2012 10:20 PM

                                                                                                Well yes my post is just my opinion. I just want to eliminate those that really aren't top tier from the conversation.

                                                                                                Kanoyama is interesting, as I've heard good things, but the one time I went I spent over $250 and I certainly didn't think it beat 15 East (overall and price), Yasuda (variety and rice), or Masa (quality). It's also possible that even after spending $250 I didn't get the secret "super omakase" which is what the proponents rave about.

                                                                                                I have not been to Soto yet, but it never struck me as a sushi bar -oriented restaurant. I could be wrong about this, but it feels like you could easily have a complete meal there with their uni-focused small plates, and get the best of his food without actually getting sushi.

                                                                                                1. re: fooder
                                                                                                  Silverjay Jan 24, 2012 04:33 AM

                                                                                                  I've had the super omakase at Kanoyama. I think it is, as you say, not in the same tier as the others. And I find the restaurant interior to be awful. There were insects buzzing around the sushi bar once when we were there. I think of it more as a value option, even though they can ramp up to Tsukiji stuff. They have a nice website.

                                                                                                  1. re: Silverjay
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                                                                                                    foodwhisperer Jan 24, 2012 08:14 AM

                                                                                                    Kanoyama has the biggest selection of japanese fish I've seen in a restaurant in NY. The sushi chef/owner is an artist. He takes great care with everything he serves. He has a very good understanding of what flavors compliment each other . He is a skilled sushi chef. In the past he had one room, and it was not conducive to enjoying a good sushi meal He expanded and has his "special omakase" room in the back, where he is the sushi chef serving everyone. He also has the oyster bar back there. i imagine there could have been insects in that room in summer, as there is no window it is left open. Nobu-san makes his own pottery, which shows his artisticness. 2 years ago about 10 Japanese high diplomats chose Kanoyama to have their dinner. He reserved the who sushi bar for them. They were quite pleased. he makes some special dishes , as have been mentioned in posts, like bluefin eye, bluefin ribs, live shrimp, live japanese lobster etc. His prices end up being higher than 15 East, which is disturbing. But I still am trying to figure out why he itemizes an omakase bill. I won't question him on it, but maybe someone else will and explain to me why he itemizes if it is omakase. I don't order the Hama eel as this dish is $35 there, but if you just say omakase you will get that dish .
                                                                                                    As far as Soto, i did not like the sushi there, nor did I like anything when the #2 chef made my dishes. If Soto makes the little dish appetizers, they are great. You can have a meal of those , and that is what I recommend. I do find it amazing that he got 2 Michelin stars. But he is creative and does understand fish.

                                                                                                    1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                      f
                                                                                                      fooder Jan 24, 2012 09:07 AM

                                                                                                      I thought omakase just meant "up to you" or essentially, "chef's choice". It has nothing to do with the price and does not imply a set menu or a prix fixe.

                                                                                                      It's possible that he has upgraded with the new room, as it was a while back that I went.

                                                                                                      I care not where Japanese high diplomats chose to eat. Just like I don't care where the Obamas eat. Warren Buffet has a burger and drinks coke every day. Rich, powerful people often have bad tastes.

                                                                                                      1. re: fooder
                                                                                                        g
                                                                                                        gutsofsteel Jan 24, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                                                                        fooder, give Shinbashi a try some time. Sit at the bar with Mr. Nakajima.

                                                                                                        1. re: gutsofsteel
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                                                                                                          foodwhisperer Jan 24, 2012 09:16 PM

                                                                                                          I will try Shinbashi, I thought I tried it, but I may be confusing it with the place that took over the old Sushi Say

                                                                                                        2. re: fooder
                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                          foodwhisperer Jan 24, 2012 09:20 PM

                                                                                                          I do agree with you Fooder, rich powerful people often have bad taste. But rich powerful Japanese people eat in the best restaurants in Japan, so it is interesting that they chose Kanoyama. Maybe it was for his pottery. Also, thanks for the point that omakase doesnt mean set price, i did need clarification on that. Also, to take your point about rich and powerful not knowing good food a step further.. All Japanese do not know or understand sushi, All italians do not know good italian food, all Greeks do not know good Greek food, all Bulgarians etc. Chowhounders know good food, that is a fact, even though we don't agree on all places or things. The private room at Kanoyama stepped it up a few notches.

                                                                                                        3. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                          Simon Jan 24, 2012 09:47 PM

                                                                                                          small note: i think you mean "hamo"

                                                                                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daggerto...

                                                                                                          1. re: Simon
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                                                                                                            foodwhisperer Jan 25, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                                            YES YES,,, damn I should know that, . HAMO is correct , scary with those teeth

                                                                                                          2. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                            sushiman Jan 25, 2012 07:36 AM

                                                                                                            Kanoyama gets the biggest variety of fish of any restaurant in NYC. He pays whatever it takes to get whatever is in season. That is why his prices are high. You have to pay to play.

                                                                                                            1. re: sushiman
                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                              TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis Jan 25, 2012 04:53 PM

                                                                                                              yes and no ... there is relatively good "variety" here.
                                                                                                              name a course ... who brought it on for you?

                                                                                                      2. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                        alkonost Jul 16, 2012 07:30 AM

                                                                                                        I don't think Kanoyama has earned it way to the top tier. While it offers a remarkable fish variety and their kitchen is solid, but I've eaten there around 30 times and noticed a steady decline in quality and was was frequently being served stale or poor quality fish (flavorless, sinewy, tough, etc). When they were on their game, they are among the best, but when they're off they're downright horrible- for the price point this inconsistency should not happen. I wasn't wowed by their omakase. Kanoyama wants to be in the big league and they have the potential, but they lack the consistency. I would put them in the middle-rung of sushi restaurants because of it. Yes, that's my opinion, but I have dined there a lot over many years to come to that conclusion. Believe me I want to like Kanoyama, especially since I was a patron of the establishment long ago when it was known as Iso and I'm very loyal to places I enjoy. But I realized it was time to find another sushi bar when I had better sashimi at a chain Dallas TX.

                                                                                                        1. re: alkonost
                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                          Ricky Jul 16, 2012 08:50 AM

                                                                                                          Totally agree with all your points. I have been going there since it was Iso as well, but I think its time I stopped since I can have better sushi nearby for 1/5-1/2 the price.

                                                                                                          1. re: Ricky
                                                                                                            alkonost Jul 16, 2012 11:32 AM

                                                                                                            Yep, Iso was the best sushi bar in the neighborhood back in the day. Do you remember the shooting at Bar Veloce back in '02 where Iso was shot in the wrist? It was so horrible that he got caught in the crossfire. Harming a good Itamae should be a life sentence :) I get very nostalgic about the place sometimes, which is why I'm almost heartbroken about not enjoying Kanoyama.

                                                                                                            1. re: alkonost
                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                              Ricky Jul 16, 2012 12:02 PM

                                                                                                              Yes I remember I saw Iso with bandage wrap right afterwards, he basically ended up working the room as a FOH for a bit.

                                                                                                          2. re: alkonost
                                                                                                            f
                                                                                                            foodwhisperer Jul 16, 2012 09:21 PM

                                                                                                            I find Kanoyama, since opening the back room has stepped up his game. I too, used to go to Iso back in the day. It was the best in the neighborhood, and Nobu-san worked there. As far as sinewy goes, I have gotten that at times in Otoro at Yasuda, 15 East and a few other places. When the fish is like that I prefer the chu toro to the otoro. Kanoyama is very high priced, perhaps too high,,, But I do think it rates top tier.
                                                                                                            That being said, I re-iterate 15 East is the best,,,, Ichimura at Brushstroke definitely up there,,, Blue Ribbon Izakaya although not quite up with the best, and they don't use fresh wasabi,, has chefs from Ushiwakamaru and Nobu and hatsuhana ,, so worth trying.

                                                                                                            1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                              citizenkitchener Jul 17, 2012 06:50 PM

                                                                                                              Although I can't stand powdered wasabi, the more common use of grated wasabi mixed with various fillers is pretty good, and given the extrodinary cost of real wasabi, I don't find fault with restaurants not using it. It's like $100 / lb. if not more.

                                                                                                              Seems like good chutoro is harder to find than otoro!

                                                                                                              1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                alkonost Jul 18, 2012 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                Yes, I agree that they're (Kanoyama) trying to step up to the big league since taking over the pita sandwich place next door. And when they're on their game and their fish is fresh, they're nothing short of amazing. But I still ran into the problem with inconsistent freshness and fish quality during that time. Whenever I went there was a 50/50 chance that I'd have an incredible meal, or I'd be served fish so poor I'd have been better off buying sushi at whole foods instead. They do make a wonderful ankimo, that's something I really miss.

                                                                                                              2. re: alkonost
                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis Jul 17, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                it's early summer
                                                                                                                what's the best dish you've had to date ..
                                                                                                                awabi sashimi ..,

                                                                                                                1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis
                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                  sushiman Jul 18, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                  I had a "baby" giant clam that was great. Also had some early Ayu and Sanma.

                                                                                                                  1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis
                                                                                                                    alkonost Jul 18, 2012 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                    Best ever? Or best for the summer season so far?

                                                                                                                    Best ever: tuna cheek at Yasuda

                                                                                                                    Best this season: Japanese Aji 3 ways at Yuba: tartare, sashimi and the deep fried bones! It's my new favorite, but it's seasonal so it makes me sad that I won't be able to eat this year round.

                                                                                                                    1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis
                                                                                                                      f
                                                                                                                      foodwhisperer Jul 20, 2012 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                      This would make a good new thread, I like the question (this summer).
                                                                                                                      Shiokara at Brushstroke ( Ichimura)
                                                                                                                      Blue Fin tail sushi : 15 East
                                                                                                                      Giant Clam sauteed in soy butter: Blue Ribbon Izakaya

                                                                                                                  2. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                    u
                                                                                                                    Uncle Yabai Dec 21, 2012 03:12 AM

                                                                                                                    I've been to Kurumazushi before for the full blowout deal, which runs $300+ per person, and I thought was way too expensive but pretty good, some of the best sushi in town (but something you could get for half the price in Japan).

                                                                                                                    I was there a couple of weeks back, I wasn't paying so couldn't direct the ordering, and our host suggested we take the $90 dinner set, which looked fine. It looked fine, but it was nothing mindblowing or even worth $90. So either the place has gone downhill, or you have to roll out the big bucks if you want the good stuff. And they brought us some miso soup to start with. That was just weird. What am I supposed to do with the soup? Drink it then? Or watch it cool down while I wait for my food, eat it, and then drink the soup? Since when is miso soup the first course in a Japanese meal? If anything, it is the last.

                                                                                                                2. jonkyo Feb 10, 2012 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                  I ate at Ikeno Hana on Lexington just up from 72 nd Street on West side of street and had some great raw fish. The fish cutting specialists are Japanese, as is the wait staff, and all the food.

                                                                                                                  Nice place. Wonderful food and great service.

                                                                                                                  They have been open for about 15 to 20 years. Comfortable atmosphere.

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  Ikeno Hana
                                                                                                                  1016 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10021

                                                                                                                  1. jbwiggins Jul 14, 2012 09:32 PM

                                                                                                                    Shinbashi is not up to snuff - see yelp for more. Better go to Yasuda (upscale) , Hatsuhana (old school), 13 East (new school), Tomoe (price conscious), Gari (for lazy UWS/UES), Masa (trust fund), Bozu (W'burg).

                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: jbwiggins
                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                      sushiman Jul 18, 2012 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                      Which Yelp reviews, the good ones or the bad ones?

                                                                                                                      1. re: jbwiggins
                                                                                                                        c oliver Feb 5, 2014 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                        If I may give this a bump. We were on a plane today headed to NYC and a man we were chatting with recommended Tomoe for both quality and price. Any opinions? TIA.

                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                          Lau Feb 6, 2014 05:43 AM

                                                                                                                          not good, they give u huge pieces of sushi, but the quality is whatever...a long time ago it was decent, but that was a long time ago

                                                                                                                          1. re: Lau
                                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                                            Pookipichu Feb 6, 2014 05:45 AM

                                                                                                                            +1 avoid Tomoe! The quality of the fish is NOT good. Been there many times. Started off good 20? years ago, last three times were awful, it's coasting on its old reputation.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Pookipichu
                                                                                                                              c oliver Feb 6, 2014 05:47 AM

                                                                                                                              Thanks, L and P. This is what CH is all about, helping each other make the best decisions.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Pookipichu
                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                foodwhisperer Feb 6, 2014 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                                +2 on avoid, and even when it was "good" it was still huge pieces and I didn't think it was that good ( even for those times) but the lines were very long to get in.

                                                                                                                                1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                  jonkyo Feb 24, 2014 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                                  this is on Fresh Ponds

                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                    c oliver Feb 24, 2014 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                    We wound up just running out of time so no sushi. Manhattan (and Flushing) just have too many things to tempt. Thanks for the help.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                      Delucacheesemonger Feb 24, 2014 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                      True about Tomoe sushi was there about 6 weeks ago and could not eat some of the fish as so badly cut, big pieces but not great.
                                                                                                                                      OTOH their unagi kabayaki was the one l enjoyed most anywhere in America

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                                                                        c oliver Feb 24, 2014 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                        Thanks, DCM. The person who recommended it (across the aisle on the airplane) made himself out to be quite the authority on many things food :) I remain grateful to CHs for separating the wheat from the chaff. Need to start working on next trip - Prague, Vienna and Budapest in April.

                                                                                                                          2. guttergourmet Jul 21, 2012 04:58 AM

                                                                                                                            Anyone mention Soto and Ushiwakamaru? Also the newest entry is Neta with ex-Bar Masa chefs.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: guttergourmet
                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                              kid cha Dec 1, 2012 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                              Danny Meyer tweets his excitement about Neta experience:
                                                                                                                              https://twitter.com/dhmeyer/status/27...

                                                                                                                              1. re: kid cha
                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                kid cha Dec 1, 2012 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                December issue of Travel +Leisure mentions Soto and Ichimura being among the best sushi restaurants in the U.S.
                                                                                                                                http://www.travelandleisure.com/artic...

                                                                                                                                1. re: kid cha
                                                                                                                                  f
                                                                                                                                  foodwhisperer Dec 3, 2012 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                  Does anyone really think Soto has good sushi???? I'm not referring to his cute modern little dishes, I'm referring to his sushi. I find it second rate compared to 15 East, Ichimura, Ushiwakamaru, and Kanoyama.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                                    calf Dec 3, 2012 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                    Frank Bruni's review from 2007:

                                                                                                                                    "Also bear in mind that the quality of nearly three dozen kinds of sushi and sashimi on the third and final page of the menu isn’t exceptional. But one of nearly a dozen sushi rolls shouldn’t be missed."

                                                                                                                            2. raji212 Dec 18, 2012 09:15 PM

                                                                                                                              Hate to burst anyone's bubble but there is no simply basis for the "no sake with sushi" rumor mill. Shochu replacing cold sake at sushi bars has been a result of the Shochu boom which basically started in 2000 in Japan, making it's way over here a few years later. There was plenty of cold sake being served at sushi bars before then, often preceded by a beer. What if I drank shochu made from rice, or echigo rice beer? Women are rarely shochu-drinkers; what do they drink with sushi?

                                                                                                                              30 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                E Eto Dec 19, 2012 12:10 AM

                                                                                                                                The bottom line is drink what you like. It really doesn't matter that much. I hate to burst your bubble, but there are plenty of women shochu drinkers. The shochu "boom" happened because it became a popular drink not just for men.

                                                                                                                                1. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                  Silverjay Dec 19, 2012 01:04 AM

                                                                                                                                  Not a rumor mill. There is an old Japanese adage about not drinking sake with rice dishes. Goes back many years. Sake was even considered a rice dish in the sequence of kaiseiki or court feasts. This is nothng to do with rise in shochu popularity. Many sushi restaurants will have just a meager selection of sake and this is meant to be served with sashimi or other non-rice dishes.

                                                                                                                                  And the rise of shochu popularity has primarily been because of women drinkers who find it easy to mix with juice or tea.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                    raji212 Dec 19, 2012 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                    I would say the shochu boom had a lot more to do with more men drinking it and the increasing variety that was available... I still don't know many Japanese women who drink shochu, but maybe that's an age thing. Chu-hai, that's a different story.

                                                                                                                                    I'm curious what the adage is; I appreciate that, and while it's true nihonshu tended to accompany the sashimi courses, and beer with the sushi, I just know what I observed at many sushi bars (mostly Tokyo) in the 90s into the 00's... and I think we all observed what we observed. But rice is wayyyyyy too omnipresent in one form or another in Japanese cuisine to preclude drinking nihonshu. Kaiseki is a different story, as there are pairings.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                      E Eto Dec 19, 2012 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                      Hmm. The 90s into the 00s? So you weren't in Japan to experience the shochu boom, it seems.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: E Eto
                                                                                                                                        raji212 Dec 19, 2012 10:56 PM

                                                                                                                                        ??? No, I was living there exactly as it was happening... what/when are you talking about?

                                                                                                                                        I don't feel the need to list my Japan credentials; but in this case, I will say I was friends with numerous Japanese chefs and restaurateurs at the time (and since then) and have vivid memories discussing this 98-2003 and since then; certainly before the press was reporting it. It didn't happen overnight.

                                                                                                                                        I didn't need to read about it, but OK here's what Wikipedia has to say about it (sourcing the press about it)

                                                                                                                                        Wikipedia JP
                                                                                                                                        本格焼酎ブーム [編集]
                                                                                                                                        日本では、2003年頃から焼酎乙類を対象とする「本格焼酎ブーム」が起き、同年には焼酎類全体の出荷量が日本酒の出荷量を約50年ぶりに上回り[46][47]、2004年には売上高もピークを迎えた[47]。ブームに伴って、本格焼酎を専門に扱う焼酎バーも登場している。ブームの影響によって、材料や製法にこだわった焼酎も盛んに市場へと送り出されていた[46]。

                                                                                                                                        Wikipedia EN
                                                                                                                                        Boom
                                                                                                                                        The early 21st century witnessed a consumer boom in shōchū within Japan, and in 2003 domestic shipments surpassed those of sake for the first time.[3] Shōchū bars appeared serving shōchū exclusively, and premium brands with a focus on particular ingredients, production methods, or aging techniques entered the market.

                                                                                                                                        I said women are rarely shochu-drinkers; I meant a "shochu-drinker" as in neat or on the rocks, or even mizuwari or ochawari TBH... not chu-hai cocktails and the like, which are a different category but yes, if you lump them all together, then Chu-hai technically would have to do with statistical popularity among women(and that we agree about); but if you talk to any Japanese, shochu out of a bottle and chuhai are 2 very different things. (otsurui and korui)

                                                                                                                                        Rice isn't that common in restaurant dining in Japan?

                                                                                                                                        OK, you keep an eye out for your pet theories..

                                                                                                                                        1. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                          Silverjay Dec 19, 2012 11:51 PM

                                                                                                                                          Yup, osturui and korui shochu. All covered in previous discussions elsewhere on the forum in the past. We're looking for info on the no sake with rice thing though- the one you claim is part of the rumor mill. I had sushi chefs and foodie friends tell me about this and also read on it in history of Japanese cuisine book. But lucky me I have reservations at a nice sushi place in Tokyo this weekend where taisho is 4th generation sushi chef. I read some of the Tabelog reviews and some patrons are saying he does a sake pairing. So I will ask him his take on it and report back.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                                                            raji212 Dec 20, 2012 12:00 AM

                                                                                                                                            No sake with SUSHI rumor mill.

                                                                                                                                            I later said "But rice is wayyyyyy too omnipresent in one form or another in Japanese cuisine to preclude drinking nihonshu" in a separate post.

                                                                                                                                            I can ask some sushi chef friends too..

                                                                                                                                            It's really common sense though. You want complements not compounding. You probably wouldn't drink wine with a bowl of grapes, nor sake with a bowl of rice. So sake is probably not something you'd drink with a rice-dominent dish like donburi or rice noodles. that's what some other japanese chefs have told me, but they weren't sushi chefs.

                                                                                                                                            I imagine what my friends might tell me if I pressed be along similar lines - nigiri/sashimi, sure, nigiri/makimono, and now rice is dominating and they might not recommend sake

                                                                                                                                            I just think I'm with most of the other people in the thread in that, drink what you want, and, it's been more affected by overall alcohol drinking trends rather than hard and fast rules

                                                                                                                                            I imagine this is the sushi equivalent of
                                                                                                                                            Whites with fish
                                                                                                                                            Reds with meats

                                                                                                                                            1. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                              Silverjay Dec 20, 2012 03:14 AM

                                                                                                                                              Yes, I've actually used the whites w/fish and reds w/meats analogy myself before. I think it is apropos. A standing tradition and general rule of thumb.

                                                                                                                                              Aside from obvious rice specialty dish places like sushi, donburiya, somen, etc. I have found that restaurant dining in Japan has morphed into okazu-centric endeavors.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                                                                raji212 Dec 20, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                ... a rule made to be broken, though. I've been drinking Pinots and other light reds with fish for years... and I'm just not a fan of white wine unless it's a really good one, or a dessert wine...

                                                                                                                                                You know I was writing last night and I instinctively wrote somen too, It looks and almost tastes like it's rice flour... somen is made of wheat flour.

                                                                                                                                                I agree with you that fine dining in Japan has certainly gone that route, as if a bowl of rice on the table might lower what they can charge - at the same time, most Japanese I know must have SOME sort of rice at every meal...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                                  Silverjay Dec 20, 2012 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I don't know any Japanese who must have a rice dish when they dine out. Pretty sure rice consumption is on the decline. We eat it at home meals though.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                                    foodwhisperer Dec 20, 2012 08:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Most other Asians love their rice, and have to have it at most meals. Chinese, Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese and maybe the biggest rice lovers Filipinos gotta have their rice. Maybe that's why I am gaining so much weight, due to a Filipina girlfriend.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                                      Silverjay Dec 21, 2012 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Japan is nothing really like any of those countries these days. But of the countries in S.E. Asia, I think Japanese relate to Filipinos the least. Sorry buddy. There's always P90X though...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Silverjay
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                                                                                                                                                        foodwhisperer Dec 21, 2012 11:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                        LOL yes P90x is a good new year's resolution thought. Actually my girlfriend's brother worked as an assistant chef in a sushi restaurant in Japan for 4 years. There maybe reasons for lack of relating of Japanese to Filipinos, but there are many Filipino women in Japan that ended up marrying Japanese men. Japanese love Filipino women . But that's a whole nuther story.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                                                              Silverjay Dec 24, 2012 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                              I spoke to the 4th generation chef about no sake with sushi. He didn't answer directly whether he had heard of such an expression but said two things of interest. First because sugar is used to make shari it makes for a naturally poor complement of sake. People, he said, will order and enjoy sake during sashimi, tsumami, and soup. Not as a drink to sip between nigiri. Second, more revealing, he said traditionally sake was more viscous, unfiltered like nigori and even makkoli. So therefore felt more substantial than today's clear and waterlike sake and could be seen as a stand-in for a rice dish.

                                                                                                                                            3. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                              E Eto Dec 20, 2012 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, that's certainly when the boom began. But I always thought it was more of a mid-2000's thing. Either way, I never mentioned shochu as chu-hai or cocktails with women consumers in mind. I am talking about more or less straight up--on the rocks, mizu-wari, or oyu-wari. It makes a lot of sense that shochu grew in popularity at this point in the post-bubble age as it's more economical than nihonshu or beer. I know many women drink shochu because compared to nihonshu or beer it's lower in calories, and tends not to cause the hangover that other alcoholic beverages can. Perhaps my sample of women is different than yours as I'm in western Japan around more blue-collar and less urban folks where I've been seeing this trend.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: E Eto
                                                                                                                                                raji212 Dec 20, 2012 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                DEFINITELY - women I'm friend with my age and older, who can hang, have been known to dive into a bottle of of shochu with me and they're more often than not from Kansai!

                                                                                                                                                Definitely on the younger side and Kanto side and to the north, you'll get a crumpled face and be told that shochu is not nomiyasui enough for them

                                                                                                                                                1. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                                  Silverjay Dec 20, 2012 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Don't find this true at all. Honkaku shochu is popular in Tokyo with all drinkers. Much of it is 25% alcohol. It's not like it is unapproachable and harsh. All the shochu bars that have sprung up aren't just filled with men and crusty Kansai women.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                            Silverjay Dec 19, 2012 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                            I was in Japan during and have been a frequent visitor since shochu boom began. This has been covered extensively in Japanese press. Chu-hai has a lot to do with popularity among women. Old subject with lots of info available above and beyod internety conjecture.

                                                                                                                                            Adage about rice dishes is very common. Still omnipresent in Japan today. Rice isn't that common in restaurant dining in Japan. I'm talking now about 20 years experince with this. In Japan now. I'll keep an eye out for your pet theory as i seem to do with others every year but pretty confindent in what I have already asserted.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: raji212
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                                                                                                                                              foodwhisperer Dec 19, 2012 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                              Although I agree beer is most popular with sushi. But even in Tokyo I've seen Japanese people drinking sake with sushi. The preferred sake it seems to go with sushi is not the high end daiginjo but junmai. That is my observation. In US many japanese people drink sake with sushi or Shochu. I eat a lot of sashimi and shiokara , the fish guts are made to go with shochu , second choice would be sake.
                                                                                                                                              My dilemma is octopus and how Japanese people prefer it. 15 East makes a very soft octopus. I enjoy it very much, as it seems everyone does. But in Japan the octopus seemed to be chewier or tougher. Is that a Japanese preference?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                                Silverjay Dec 19, 2012 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                i want to provide the expectation to people interested in autthentic Japanese sushi that it is unrealistic to expect a thorough or even nominal sake selection at good sushi places. it may be the case they have some, but may very well be they stick to tradition and do not offer much. just something to think about. every culture has its protocols and traditions.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                                                                  f
                                                                                                                                                  foodwhisperer Dec 20, 2012 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I see many Japanese people here in US but not American born, drinking French wine with their sushi, instead of sake.
                                                                                                                                                  Now, tradition wise, I have to guess , and correct me if I'm wrong, but there was not an abundance of French wine to be had in sushi restaurants in Japan. It seems to be an expanding of tastes.
                                                                                                                                                  Also, as much as rice with rice sounds like too much rice, I think it is as much about what kind of fish is on that rice. The fish has the more powerful or influential taste, and which fish goes with what beverage, perhaps they should have a different wine, sake, or shochu, based on whether you eat saba or hamachi etc. I find the taste of junmai goes very well with my fish. And I drink red wine with my salmon.
                                                                                                                                                  But nobody wants to tell me how octopus is supposed to be according to Japanese authorities. Is 15 East's too soft for Japanese tastes , and need more chew to it?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                                    Silverjay Dec 21, 2012 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                    So I went to a very highly regarded sushi place near Ginza today and the other patrons around me were drinking sake. Not in big quantities, but sipping now and then. On Japanese message boards, which I kinda checked out for this discussion, I came across a few comments supporting the notion of white wine pairing. So anything goes, which is a good thing for everybody concerned about ettiquite, etc. It's certainly not as strict as what I was taught- which is a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                    Regarding octopus. Japanese, I believe, prefer more 歯ごたえ. Toothiness. But there are no rules. I don't think 15 East is doing anything different than you might find in Japan from someone who likes it soft.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                      calf Dec 21, 2012 09:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I would speculate that any white wine pairing is obviously derivative the traditional seafood + white wine in Western cuisines. But in modern Western food that is no longer the case: perhaps it's only a matter of time that people eventually accept that light reds can go with sushi. The fundamental concern has always been finding a desirable combination of salt, acid, and tannins, etc.

                                                                                                                                                      > But nobody wants to tell me how octopus is supposed to be according to Japanese authorities.

                                                                                                                                                      I thought everyone knew it is simply preferred still alive…

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Silverjay
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                                                                                                                                                        foodwhisperer Dec 21, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the reply on all issues. As far as the 歯ごたえ goes, that's what I thought. But I hear you , tastes vary even in Japan. Along the lines of tradition and your comment on sake and how you were taught.. I can relate to this on another issue regarding sushi. I was taught by Japanese trained sushi chefs that sushi should be eaten with your hands. Which is the way I have done it for many years. I like to feel it in my hands. And I dip the fish in soy sauce not the rice ( if it is not already sauced). However, I see many younger Japanese people ( mostly in US) using chopsticks to eat sushi. I also realize, as I have many Japanese friends that were born in Japan, that all Japanese people are not as familiar with sushi tradition or etiquette as some of us are. Many of my Japanese friends always tell me they rarely ate sushi in Japan , because it was too expensive. They ate sashimi at home at times, but rarely sushi. When we go to eat at sushi restaurants they often defer to me to make certain sushi decisions. Do you agree or disagree with the thought that sushi should be eaten with one's hand and not chopsticks. And how do you feel about me saying that many Japanese people are not sushi experts or are not that experienced with sushi?
                                                                                                                                                        Calf: live octopus is scary,,, those suckers are impossible to get off of you when you handle a live one. I've heard of some sushi chefs throwing live octopus in a washing machine to clean them and tenderize them, that's a different approach than the careful massaging that is the proper way.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                                          Silverjay Dec 24, 2012 03:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Hands or chopsticks are acceptable. Me, I'll use either. Some hardcore places don't even offer chopsticks though. The place I went to the other day, the chef put half the items directly in your palm. My wife prefers chopsticks. At casual places in Tokyo, people seem to prefer chopsticks. Japan's a pretty busy urban society. Kinda seems weird to step off the street and eat with your hands sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                          I think your friends are either older than a certain age or exaggerating for effect. Cheap, inexpensive, and moderate sushi options are all over the place now. I think sushi is in most people's rotation. Least in Tokyo area.

                                                                                                                                                          I can't speak about your friends. I personally feel Japan is a considerably more food literate culture than the U.S. But there are bound to be a few of passionate and knowledgeable outsider sorts.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Silverjay
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                                                                                                                                                            foodwhisperer Dec 26, 2012 07:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the reply. Just FYI, the majority of my friends who say they don't eat sushi that much ( meaning maybe once every month) are mostly in their 40's. Two are in their 20's. And a couple are close to 60. Only 2 live in outskirts of Tokyo. Others are from Hokkaido, Nagoya, and Hiroshima. They do eat much seafood, and sashimi. But not in much in "nice" sushi restaurants. Interesting to learn that both chopsticks and hand are equally acceptable. Again thanks for the info

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                                                                                                                                                              citizenkitchener Dec 26, 2012 09:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Thought I posted this, apologize if double-post . . .
                                                                                                                                                              sushi uses minimal handling, preparation, movement . . . chopsticks go against the flow. not like reverence is order . . . but you know, it's kind of like eating tea sandwiches with a fork . . . nobody is saying you can't but still . . . plus, how often can you eat such fancy food with your fingers!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: citizenkitchener
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                                                                                                                                                                foodwhisperer Dec 27, 2012 02:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Sorry Citizen didn't see your post. I continue to eat sushi with my hand. I like to feel the fish and rice in my hand. I do wash my hands before I eat. But as Silverjay said, many people do use the chopsticks now, so I will not look down on that, as I have. It appears to be acceptable. But i will stick to my old ways for myself

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                                                                                                                                                                  tpigeon Oct 21, 2013 05:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I eat nigiri with my hands because when I do dip in soy i dip fish side so it doesn't get too salty. Plus I am a barbarian and prefer to eat with my hands in general...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tpigeon
                                                                                                                                                                    n
                                                                                                                                                                    Nancy S. Oct 21, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly the same reasoning for me!

                                                                                                                                            2. raji212 Dec 18, 2012 09:18 PM

                                                                                                                                              In previous years I mentioned that I would give no credence to Michelin's Japanese ratings, either here or in Japan, and a visit to Soto about 6 months ago proved me right... besides a few kitchen dishes which have been written at length about (langoustine, uni, etc), which were great, others were pretty unremarkable, as was his sushi. I went there on the early side and I found it a bit disheartening that there seemed to be a significant dropoff depending on who prepared what you got. 2 stars? Really?

                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: raji212
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                                                                                                                                                foodwhisperer Dec 18, 2012 09:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                I agree with you , Soto's sushi is average at best. He is knowledgeable about fish, based on conversations i've had with him. But even some of the dishes that used to be standouts, i.e. the squid dish, seems pre- made and stuffed into a plastic container , and comes out all clumped together. I don't bother going to Soto anymore after the last two disappointments. 15 East rules.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                                  raji212 Dec 18, 2012 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                  That was another thing; fluency in Japanese gets you nowhere there, unless you're seated at his corner of the bar which he's running away from a lot anyway. I should have used my Spanish.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: raji212
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                                                                                                                                                  calf Dec 18, 2012 09:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Soto is a kind of fusion restaurant, and what it is good at is playing around with ideas in that domain. Yes it may not taste great especially when held against traditional metrics of taste, but I've noticed that that is what several of the 2* restaurants tend to have in common.

                                                                                                                                                  Corton, Momofuku Ko, Kajitsu (prior), Atera

                                                                                                                                                  Plenty of people have at various times complained about these restaurants not "tasting" good enough, etc. My explanation would be that that's not necessarily what these restaurants are about. World-famous chefs (Mugaritz, Relae) have touched on this issue in their interviews. Of course, buyer beware and all that.

                                                                                                                                                  I wouldn't go so far as to call restaurant food an art form per se, but we know a lot of great fine art isn't pleasant. Doesn't mean those works aren't worth getting to know.

                                                                                                                                                  All of this said, I thought the dobinmushi at Soto was utterly awful. A more demanding customer would have sent it back to the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: calf
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                                                                                                                                                    foodwhisperer Dec 18, 2012 10:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                    When I first started going to Soto, was when he first came up here from Atlanta. In Atlanta he was a big hit. Initially, I thought he was a nice guy and really needed more business because the place was empty for the first 6 months. The "little dishes" with things like pine nuts mixed in, were excellent. At the sushi bar, if you didn't have Soto-san as your chef, you would get a not so good meal. Now the place is so busy, as I've said, recently it seems those nice little creative dishes are being pre-made. It isn't the calibre it used to be. I can appreciate non-authentic creative japanese, especially when the flavors of the ingredients mesh well. Sushi is not the thing to get at Soto.
                                                                                                                                                    Corton the other restaurant you mention, I think makes dishes that look like works of art. However , I think they throw ingredients in , just to sound creative or different. The flavors do not work at Corton. Nothing actually works well there , including the service.
                                                                                                                                                    Kajitsu is amazing. So is Kyo Ya, and now that Jungsik finally got a Michelin star I can add that as a great restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                      calf Dec 19, 2012 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                      It was *really* busy, the front was completely full. I'm not qualified to judge kitchen efficiency, but it did make me wonder how a setting like that manages to keep up with orders without dropping a bit in quality. It's such an ambitious cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                      Kajitsu is wonderful, and Kyo-Ya so good. The pressed sushi—oh my gosh, some the best rolls anywhere, ever.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: raji212
                                                                                                                                                    kosmose7 Oct 23, 2013 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Soto used to be far better before....
                                                                                                                                                    It has been slowly going down the hill since.

                                                                                                                                                  3. k
                                                                                                                                                    Katdragon Dec 24, 2012 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Sasabune!!!!!!!!!

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                                                                                                                                                      lexismore Dec 29, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                      On the UES, Inase is my go-to if I don't want to splurge. It's authentic, owned by the sushi chef and his wife (the hostess)
                                                                                                                                                      Not a destination spot, but quite good.

                                                                                                                                                      I also have my eye on Tanoshi - they do the warm rice thing, but it doesn't fall apart when you look at it too hard, so the nigiri can actually make it to your mouth in one piece. Jury is still out though, I've only been once and had a hard time getting him to go beyond the more safe fish options.

                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lexismore
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                                                                                                                                                        lovethosebites Dec 29, 2012 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Just checked out the tanoshi website it looks pretty good, I want to go sometime.

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                                                                                                                                                          citizenkitchener Dec 29, 2012 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                          kochi is one of the few fish you rarely see that i'd say is worth trying. 1 or 8 offers an eclectic array of seasonal fish . . . and you'll find fish there that are rarely seen in any of the other sushi bars in the city.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lexismore
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                                                                                                                                                            citizenkitchener Dec 29, 2012 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                            turnover is probably high on those safe species . . . if you want to enjoy the freshest best-tasting fish, those varieties are good bets. if you want to try a wider array of sushi without sacrificing quality, 15 east

                                                                                                                                                          2. l
                                                                                                                                                            lovethosebites Dec 29, 2012 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I have been to Masa, nobu, bar masa, and have found them worse than Sasabune. If you have any suggestions you think are better, please share.

                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lovethosebites
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                                                                                                                                                              Simon Dec 29, 2012 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Bar Masa is awful...Nobu is not particularly well-regarded for its sushi...i've been to Masa years ago when it was located in Beverly Hills and called Ginza Sushiko -- i haven't been to its NY incarnation...

                                                                                                                                                              My top three suggestions are some of the same ones which many other regulars on this board love: 15 East, Ichimura, and Ushiwakamaru...

                                                                                                                                                              Years ago in LA, i used to go to Sasabune fairly often in LA because several of my friends liked it and because it was a commonly suggested spot for a business lunch...but like foodwhisperer, i find the rice far too warm, as well as undercooked -- eventually in LA, i stopped eating any nigiri there at all, and when i'd go with my friends i'd get an all-sashimi omakase, which was fine...

                                                                                                                                                              So i'd suggest comparing the style with the three places i listed (all of which have individual styles themselves), and see which you prefer...there are many people like yourself who enjoy Sasabune's style, but i think it's good to know that he's doing a very specific thing in terms of rice that's a bit of an outlier...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Simon
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                                                                                                                                                                sushiman Dec 29, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Ushiwakamaru serves the rice very hot, but lets it cool as the meal goes on.

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                                                                                                                                                                  foodwhisperer Dec 29, 2012 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I've been to Ushi and their rice doesn't fall apart when you pick up the sushi with your hand.. Also, the fish quality at Ushi is far beyond Sasabune. Once in a while 15 East has warmer rice than usual. Sasabune intentionally keeps it really hot, I'll never understand it..

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodwhisperer
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                                                                                                                                                                    citizenkitchener Dec 29, 2012 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    health regulations . . . in order to pass a random inspection, the rice has to be kept at a certain temperature. normal sushi rice would not be considered warm enough for most part.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: citizenkitchener
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                                                                                                                                                                      foodwhisperer Dec 29, 2012 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      The regulation sometimes is not upheld (see below) , and also the vinegar in the sushi rice affects the ph which helps the case of keeping it cooler than the 140F..
                                                                                                                                                                      "Currently, Health Code §81.09 generally requires that all potentially hazardous foods be kept at temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, to retard the growth of pathogens, except during time needed for preparation. However, there are several prepared foods, including, most commonly, sushi rice, for which food service establishments most frequently request that the Department modify applicable Health Code temperature holding requirements, since such temperature requirements apparently adversely affect the palatability of such foods...."

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodwhisperer
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                                                                                                                                                                        citizenkitchener Dec 29, 2012 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        yeah but the acceptable p.h. i believe requires too much vinegar. the regs are messed up and need to be changed. ditto for forcing chefs to wear clumsy latex gloves.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: sushiman
                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                    Simon Dec 29, 2012 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    i'm a regular at Ushiwakamaru (ate there last night actually)...i agree w/ you that the rice is sometimes warmer than i'd ideally like...i mentioned that in my "Ushiwakamaru Primer Post"

                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/850881

                                                                                                                                                                    It's one of my only slight qualms, foodwise, w/ the place...but unlike Sasabune, the rice at Ushiwakamaru is never undercooked as it is at Sasabune, never crumbles, etc, and the warmth doesn't interfere too much...

                                                                                                                                                              2. n
                                                                                                                                                                Negaduck May 27, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Can anyone tell me how is the pricing of omakase at these places relative to one another? Feel free to praise or bash in order to narrow down my list. (Yasuda and 15 East are omitted for the purposes of this exercise).

                                                                                                                                                                Yuba
                                                                                                                                                                Ushiwakamaru
                                                                                                                                                                Seki
                                                                                                                                                                Kyo Ya
                                                                                                                                                                Sasabune
                                                                                                                                                                Tomoe
                                                                                                                                                                Hatsuhana
                                                                                                                                                                Neta
                                                                                                                                                                Jewel Bako

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Negaduck
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                                                                                                                                                                  foodwhisperer May 29, 2013 04:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure why you omitted 15 East and Yasuda. I spent at least as much at Hatsuhana as I did at 15 East. Hatsuhana omakase itemizes each piece, same as Kanoyama. Price depends on how much you eat. My omakase was $200.
                                                                                                                                                                  Ushiwakamaru probably runs around $150. Tomoe is the least expensive on your list. Sasabune if I remember correctly and I am sorry but no time to research each menu. Sasabune was under $100 for omakase and they only have omakase.
                                                                                                                                                                  Jewel Bako runs about $85. Neta has two price for omakase
                                                                                                                                                                  $95 and $135. I order ala carte there.
                                                                                                                                                                  Seki lists on their menu $40 and $60 for omakase, but it cost me closer to $150 when I ate there last. Gari ends up being around $150 if you get a few extra pieces. Yuba better off ordering the dishes that sound good, not omakase.
                                                                                                                                                                  Kyo Ya is kaiseki and not omakase 10 courses for $150.
                                                                                                                                                                  I'll throw in Ichimura at Brushstroke is $150.
                                                                                                                                                                  Blue Ribbon Izakaya I think is around $85

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                                                                                                                                                                  foodlovergeneral Oct 20, 2013 03:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I have eaten at most of the sushi restuarants in this stream. But the best-if I had $250-400 to spend is not Masa, Yasuda, Jewel Bako, Gari, etc. It's Kurumazushi. It is amazingly good. The meals I have had there have ranged from $200-$500. I probably will never be able to afford it again, but if I had $500 to blow, it would be ahead of any restaurant in New York for me.

                                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodlovergeneral
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                                                                                                                                                                    jilkat25 Oct 22, 2013 12:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I read somewhere that "Kurumazushi is the most expensive meal in New York."
                                                                                                                                                                    And, I know what you mean. I could eat sushi every day of my life. Since you've tried them all, I trust your opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                    Know of any sushi restaurants that serve breakfast?

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                                                                                                                                                                      foodlovergeneral Oct 22, 2013 06:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Many, certainly not all. New one that sounds very interesting is Sushi Nakazawa. Anyone tried it yet? That person worked for Jiro supposedly.

                                                                                                                                                                      I have my doubts about sushi restaurant open for breakfast. Perhaps Silverjay knows of one in Japan near tsukiji market. I believe they do have some open for breakfast there.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodlovergeneral
                                                                                                                                                                        Delucacheesemonger Oct 22, 2013 10:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Virtually all of them at Tsukiji. Lines start at 5-5:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger
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                                                                                                                                                                          AdamD Oct 23, 2013 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          YEP. One of the quintessential Tokyo experiences IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                                            Silverjay Oct 23, 2013 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            ...for a tourist anyways...Oh geez, i have to do it myself again in December hosting a first time visitor. Not looking forward to it.

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                                                                                                                                                                              AdamD Oct 23, 2013 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              For a tourist or anyone that just thinks its a cool experience.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                                                Silverjay Oct 23, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                There is an expression about Mt. Fuji- those who do not climb it at least once in their life are fools and those who climb it twice, are also fools. And that's how I feel about standing in line at 5:30 in morning at Tsukiji to eat at one of those places.

                                                                                                                                                                                But I agree the whole market and the experience at one of those places is very cool no matter who you are.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Silverjay
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                                                                                                                                                                                  AdamD Oct 23, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I like it!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: foodlovergeneral
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                                                                                                                                                                          sushiman Oct 23, 2013 06:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          There is a Sushiden at Narita that is open 24/7 I think. We had a last blast breakfast of sushi and sashimi there just after they got back from getting the fish from Tsukiji.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodlovergeneral
                                                                                                                                                                            Silverjay Oct 23, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Many branches of Sushizanmai in Tokyo, including the honten in Tsukiji, are open 24/7 year round. They never close.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                                                                                              Delucacheesemonger Oct 23, 2013 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              l treasure my picture with the owner and his enormous smile.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: foodlovergeneral
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                                                                                                                                                                              Lau Oct 24, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Kuruma: it's very good definitely among the very top places, but you cannot get out of there for less than $250 (pre-drinks, after-tax) and this was several years ago so maybe worse now.

                                                                                                                                                                              Breakfast: i do not believe any of the top sushi restaurants in NY serve breakfast (I'd be surprised if any sushi restaurant in NY serves breakfast at all)

                                                                                                                                                                              Nakazawa: here's my review, its really good, one of the best in the city if not the best
                                                                                                                                                                              https://www.lauhound.com/2013/10/sushi-nakazawa-compare-jiro-dont-know-care-best-sushi-ny/
                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/920613

                                                                                                                                                                        3. jonkyo Oct 24, 2013 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I am curious about the body sushi that is often advertised in the Village Voice. The bar is not of wood, with this.

                                                                                                                                                                          I do not think my Japanese classmates in my Women Studies classes, in my undergrad, would approve, but this trend has gone global in the last decade.

                                                                                                                                                                          For the same cost, I am betting that a grander time with sushi could be found elsewhere, minus the live table/bar.

                                                                                                                                                                          The places here that my classmate from Japan took me to were as authentic as one could get, in the late 80s and early 90s.

                                                                                                                                                                          That was before the sushi glut, partially due to, or exploited by, enterprising Fuzhou entrepreneur took hold.

                                                                                                                                                                          A remaining venue from that era, I recommend, is Hatsuhana.

                                                                                                                                                                          Then again, Japanese friends recommend several, these days, but all are due to the friends knowing the owner as a friend. Seems fair enough though.

                                                                                                                                                                          Check out Kanoyama, Second Ave and 11th.

                                                                                                                                                                          I was on this thread in early 2012. Recommended Iroha Japanese Restaurant. 152 West 49th Street. That is only due to being near some Japanese eating and drinking places that were in business when I lived in Hell's Kitchen, 1988, and remain in business.

                                                                                                                                                                          This stretch of 49th has an interesting venue, that used to be an exclusive karaoke establishment, in the 1980s. One would have to ring a bell. It was exclusively downstairs, and quesi- exclusively Japanese.

                                                                                                                                                                          Enduring the decades does say a lot, in the restaurant world.

                                                                                                                                                                          Have not been to Iroha in recent years. Too many other places. Tried in 2012 one time, but jammed pack to the ceiling with eaters and hungry wait list occupiers.

                                                                                                                                                                          The Village Voice advertising venue of sushi I refer too....well...just curious if the food is taken to measure in such a venue. anyone know?

                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jonkyo
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                                                                                                                                                                            foodlovergeneral Oct 24, 2013 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I din't understand all of your post. What is the "body sushi". The "bar is not of wood"-what does that mean? If the "food is taken to measure in such a venue,". Do you mean is the food good? Which place are you talking about? That wasn't clear.

                                                                                                                                                                            Is Iroha still around? Is it good? DO you have to ring a bell to get in? Hatsuhana-is it still good?

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foodlovergeneral
                                                                                                                                                                              kosmose7 Oct 24, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I think what jonkyo was trying to say is serving sushi on a naked lady's body as opposed to the traditional sushi counter made of hinoki wood. Also called Nyotaimori (女体盛り), which literally means 'arranging food on a lady's body' in Japanese.

                                                                                                                                                                              * Like Samantha in SATC:
                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.agimag.co.uk/wp-content/up...

                                                                                                                                                                              And such place was apparently advertised on Village Voice? Interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kosmose7
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                                                                                                                                                                                foodlovergeneral Oct 24, 2013 07:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry Jonkyo. Didn't get it. Thanks for the clarification Kosmose7.

                                                                                                                                                                                I think that sushi should be served on something less hot. Ruins the fish. No?

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jonkyo
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                                                                                                                                                                              foodwhisperer Oct 24, 2013 09:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Here's an article on why it could be unhealthy with things like salmonella etc, eating off a naked body.
                                                                                                                                                                              http://kotaku.com/5932057/why-eating-...
                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think the fish is too high quality even though places may charge $500 for the experience. The article does state that the body warms the fish and this could be harmful.
                                                                                                                                                                              It has been seen in many films. Probably I'd prefer it to ice cream and chocolate fudge.
                                                                                                                                                                              On other topics.. Hatsuhana still has very good quality fish, but the experience is very impersonal. The sushi chefs seem to act like robots. No real interaction that I've noticed. One of the original Hatsuhana chefs is working at Nobu 57, another is at Blue Ribbon Izakaya.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                Lau Oct 25, 2013 04:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Naomichi Yasuda (his name sake is Sushi Yasuda) and Hiro Sawatari (from Yasuda then Niko now Sen) were both originally from Hatsuhana

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lau
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                                                                                                                                                                                  foodlovergeneral Oct 25, 2013 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here is an old quote from foodwhisperer about Hatsuhana. I think I went there in the 1980s, and don't remember why I have never returned. It sounds pretty awesome:

                                                                                                                                                                                  "The head chef at Nobu , Sheen-san ,worked at Hatsuhana for years, The chef from Bouley upstairs Mikami-san, was Hatsuhan's executive chef, the new sushi chef at Brushstroke, Ichimura-san worked at Hatsuhana, and many more."

                                                                                                                                                                                  Is it still great?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodlovergeneral
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                                                                                                                                                                                    Lau Oct 25, 2013 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    i always thought hatsuhana was good like in the 2nd tier of good sushi places in NY. I never thought it was in the top tier of places like yasuda, nakazawa and 15 east, but a solidly good 2nd tier place (consistent too). However, I'm guessing that bc its been around for so long that it was probably one of the best at one point in time

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