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Apr 20, 2012 08:16 AM

Best sushi/sashimi these days

What's everyone's favorite sushi/sashimi in NY these days? Taking husband for his birthday. Yasuda is our benchmark from the meal we had a few years ago served by Yasuda himself. Happy to go back to Yasuda if it's still amazing (I know he's no longer there).

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  1. Funny how one can be so "ignored" here on CH. Maybe you should've posted "Yasuda: Best Sushi In NYC. Hands down. Period."! I was planning on trying 15 East (at the bar, per recommendations) on a forthcoming NYC trip, based on feedback here and a really solid experience with their sister (parent?) restaurant, Tocqueville. There does seem to be a good amount of fairly up to date sushi discussion here, if you look around... Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: BrettLove

      Thank you! I did a search but was hoping for the most up-to-date. I think we'll try 15 East!

      1. re: soisbelle

        15 East will make you very happy. Brushstroke new sushi bar is also an idea. Brushstroke kaiseki is a good idea too.

    2. Yasuda's as good as ever.

      1. For traditional sushi, my favorite is still Yasuda (although I still have not tried Kuruma or Masa). I noticed no difference in quality after Yasuda's departure, although no one else has his personality. Whether that's a plus or minus is a matter of personal preference.

        For sashimi, however, I find 15 East to be much better, and their sushi is still top notch. Also, the overal experience at 15 East is a lot friendlier.

        8 Replies
        1. re: lexismore

          I've found everyone at Yasuda to be pretty friendly, EXCEPT for whoever answers the phone. That person is not terribly pleasant.

          1. re: uwsister

            I havent gone back to Yasuda in awhile, just because the attitude of the management is terribly unfriendly

            1. re: foodwhisperer

              Understandable. Making a reservation at Yasuda can be pretty off-putting.

              1. re: uwsister

                the Yasuda beverage selection also leaves something to be desired if one is, like i am, a wine or shochu drinker...

            2. re: uwsister

              I agree, and I actually prefer the sushi at Yasuda, but Mr. Shimizu at 15 East goes out of his way to interact with people and explain, in depth, what he's serving.

              1. re: lexismore

                The staff at 15 East makes you feel like its a neighborhood mom and pop restaurant except its a bit pricey and has nice decor. Shimizu san either has a really good customer database or incredible memory. Not sure how he can remember where my wife is from and how small she likes her nigiri made.

                1. re: Ricky

                  Haha, yes he remembers everything , from birthdays, to favorite fish , to family members names. He just cares about his clientele. I am a loyal fan of his

                  1. re: Ricky

                    Yes, that was what struck me the most about my experience there. It's a beautiful setting and you walk in fully expecting total snobbery. And then you're just blown away by how friendly everyone is. The sushi chef I ate with was smiling the entire evening - absolutely love the positive attitude. Oh yeah, the food's not bad either ;)

            3. Thanks all! I've heard Brushstroke is amazing. For now, 15 East it is!

              14 Replies
              1. re: soisbelle

                Kanoyama deserves strong mention for their omakase. There were many dishes, everything was delicious. I will not go through each dish, But there were several pre-sashimi dishes. The sashimi was served in artistic radish formations that made a great presentation. Tonite, as usual there were many fish from Japan. We also had a tempura dish of vegetable and also tiny ice fish, the corn tempura was amazing. . I attached a picture of maybe our second course that was exquisite. I dont remember all the things ont the plate but from right to left :herring roe, tai ( snapper) roe, , eel with egg wrapped around it, octopus, ,,maybe abalone, a skewer of mochi based with different fish flavors within, more mochi type items ( i wish i remembered exactly what it is) maybe it was kamaboko,, a hollowed lemon filled with icefish, a marinated anchovy, edamame, and a shrimpcake wrapped in egg. Sorry for my terrible description, but just looking at it shows the creatvity and artistic talent chef Nobu-san puts into his work. The sushi was very delicious. No pictures could be taken because he hands you each piece and you eat it before a picture would be taken. We had a salmon sushi wrapped in sasa leaf all tied up that was delicious. a chu toro handroll was very good , shima aji was fantastic, all the sushi was amazing. Did I say that already? i can't say it enough. I ended with tamagoyaki, this japanese omelet was perhaps the best I ever had. The one at 15 East is very good, but it always has a certain taste I don't like, kind of chorine taste, maybe it should have that but I don't like that taste. The consistency of the tomagoyaki here at Kanoyama was a little bit fluffier than 15 East. it was absolutely perfect. by the way I hate the factory made tamago that the average sushi places serve , Kanoyama's doesn't even resemble those. This tomagoyaki was not sweet and you can taste the dashi and maybe some shrimp or fish bits. I know even in japan that sweet tamagoyaki is served, but I prefer the less sweet version. We had the giant live shrimp also, i didn't want to leave that out.
                In anycase, the omakase was outstanding. Here's the photo of dish #3

                1. re: soisbelle

                  After reading some sushi posts on CH, I was set to go to 15 East tonite, but figured I'd walk over to Brushstroke and see if I could get a seat at the sushi bar, That way i could drink and not drive, as it is only a few blocks from my house. I got there around 7 and got a seat at the sushi bar. Ichimura-san is a very skilled chef. I have been there before and liked it a lot, this time was no different. The fish was excellent. I started with one of their mixed shochu cocktails with ginger ale shiso and other good stuff. That got me in the mood. Then i switched to sake. Good sake, non-pasteurized , Seikyo omachi junmai ginjo.. It is from Hiroshima, with the oldest most amazing rice.
                  To go with my sake the chef prepared some stronger tasting things that work well with sake. First i had some type of snails, like small scungilli. Then I had some nameko ( sea cucumber), some komochi konbu ( kelp herring roe), madai kimo ( red snapper liver) much like animo, and 2 kinds of ika shiokara. One with the squid ink and fermented longer, and the more common brownish one. These are not liked by all, as it is very strong tasting. But for me, it is heaven.
                  I went on to sashimi , all the sashimi was very good. The highlite was the fluke that was pressed between layers of seaweed to pick up the flavor. excellent taste.
                  I then had some chawanmushi, which had edamame instead of ginkgo nuts, since ginkgo is not in season.
                  The sushi that followed was excellent. The rice perfect. The saba was amazing, two kinds of chu toro, one aged more than the other was fantastic. The were so many good dishes, even the uni from Santa Barbara was softer and more buttery than the usual from there. I ended with great an ago, then some tomato that was very good.
                  I left out many descriptions. My bill was hefty. I did get plenty of food and drink. The style of sushi is very traditional. So do not expect anything fancy like Sushi Gari, or any crazy tartare like Soto. It is simple and special. There were only 2 of us at the sushi bar at first , so it was like a private sushi chef. Tuesday is a good night to go. The weekend they are all booked.They only have 8 seats. An excellent meal at Brushstroke/ Sushi by Ichimura-san

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    Nice...sounds like a lovely meal...i will go there soon...

                    1. re: Simon

                      Report back. You will love this chef. Humble and skilled.

                    2. re: foodwhisperer

                      Sea cucumber is "namako"....I love komochi konbu...and love having a sushi bar to myself too.

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        Thanks for the spelling correction. I go by my "hooked on phonics" spelling. You would love this place during the week. The weekend they are full , but yet there are only 8 seats. Only one time did I get closed out because they were booked. The other times I was at the sushi bar with only one other and at most 3 other people. Most of the people arrive after 8. They do not have set seating time. I suggest arriving at 6 30 - 7 30. I also suggest, letting the chef know, you want the "Nihonjin" type dishes.. So you get the stuff like herring roe etc. I hope I spelled Nihonjin correctly and used it correctly.

                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                          "Nameko" are those tiny slimy mushrooms often served in miso soup, so it's actually not just spelling but a different word (and food!) altogether..."Nihonjin" means Japanese people and would sound awkward to use in this situation. Maybe say something like "honkaku-teki" which means like "genuine" or "authentic'...And, in another thread egg is "tamago" not "tomago"...Hmm, I dunno know what "tomago" is...If I sound too grammar policey, you must know that my wife has no problem completely taking me to task on Japanese speaking mistakes I make- especially in front of all her family. So karma swings back at me hard....Thanks for the timing tips. I actually enjoy dining early and appreciate this type of intel.

                          1. re: Silverjay

                            My Japanese language skills need improvement for sure. I always take the opportunity to speak as best I can. I think my English skills probably need improvement as well. I continue to learn japanese and continue to forget what i once learned. I enjoy the Japanese language , food, and culture. Perhaps i need a Japanese girlfriend again. Right now my Tagalog is improving greatly, that's due to a Filipino girlfriend. I'm not sure honkaku-teki is exactly right either. Basically, my Japanese friends tell me I eat like a Japanese old man. Things younger Japanese do not like much like wata , shiokara, etc. even tori wasa. Anyway, I guess ask for the smelly stuff. Enjoy.

                        2. re: Silverjay

                          "...and love having a sushi bar to myself too."
                          and w/ threads like this, go figure.
                          shako and ayu ... i hear hamo should be up soon.

                          1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                            Kanoyama and also Jewel Bako usually have good Hamo when it is available.

                        3. re: foodwhisperer

                          I guess that you never visited his old restaurant on 2nd Ave. Mr. Ichimura long was one of the best kept secrets on the NYC sushi scene. His old place was simply fantastic.

                          1. re: sushiman

                            I was never at Ichimura restaurant. But he was at Hatsuhana before that. Actually the area he used to be in 54th st, was thee place to go for sushi back in the day. Nada sushi still is there, one of the first places I went to back in 1976. Also, Sushisay was around back in the 80s .

                            1. re: foodwhisperer

                              He was at Hatsuhana after that. For the last 4 odd years.

                              1. re: sushiman

                                Thanks. Sushiman. Interestingly Mr. Ichimura was at Hatsuhana and so was the head Japanese chef from Bouley upstairs (Mr. Mikami) who worked with Mr. Yamata, the executive chef of Brushstroke. Also a Bouley place. Bouley maybe had an eye on Hatsuhana chefs. ( please excuse incorrect spelling of chefs names)

                      2. Just went to Yasuda yesterday for my birthday. I thought overall the service has improved, but the person I sat with could not match Yasuda. it was good - not Great. What I mean is some of the cuts were good - but others were okay. Eel was clearly overcooked.

                        Don't have another to offer for a sushi dining experience - I like Zo in LA better for strict food.. I'm sure it will depend who you get at the bar - ask for your favorite...
                        Happy Birthday to your husband -

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: eezerik

                          That is unfortunate that you weren't thrilled with Yasuda. Although I am no fan of Yasuda, I do think their eel was always exceptional. Also the choice of different eel varieties. So I am surprised that the dish they are most famous for was not too good. i guess Chef Yasuda leaving has hurt them.

                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                            I sadly must second eezerik's opinion on Yasuda. I have been a big fan in the past, but I took my brother there last week and was disappointed. It remains very good, with some excellent pieces, but nothing (and we ate for 2 hours) approached outstanding. Nor did it match up with the Yasuda of the past. 15 East stands head and shoulders above.

                            1. re: strangemd

                              That's very disheartening to hear. I'd been back since Yasuda left and found the quality was the same, but that was several months ago.

                              Clearly, I shall be forced to conduct further research.