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Nov 11, 2013 04:46 PM

Sushi Yasuda

sushi yasuda New York

1075 reviews 4.5 stars

but there's only 2 reviews on tabelog since he moved back to Japan in 2011

Has anyone been to Yasuda sushi in Tokyo? if so how was it compared to the other highly rated sushi places?

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    1. I suspect it's going to start getting a lot more custom after the (fawning) profile he got on Unknown Parts. It's the 'Bourdain Effect'.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wekabeka

        I think it's pretty great of Bourdain to do it for him, even if I'd recommend different sushi and kinbaku places over the ones he featured :)

        1. re: Gargle

          Oh, don't get me wrong, it was a wonderful tribute to their friendship, and a reflection of Bourdain's obvious admiration. However, the superlative laden praise of his food was a little overblown IMHO. But Bourdain is no fool - he too knows the power of the 'Bourdain Effect'... and we will see it for ourselves on these very boards over the coming months, no doubt.
          Curious to hear your preferred venue for 緊縛 :)

          1. re: wekabeka

            Oh, don't get me wrong either, nothing wrong with kunkun or kinoko hajime's work, but for highly technical spectator sports it's hard to beat naka akira's work, while for participation... it depends on your taste, I guess.

      2. You can check out my detailed review at:

        It is in no-way a high-end Sushi-ya nor is it trying to be. The prices are reasonable and Yasuda is just a great guy to talk to. He has a lot of funny anecdotes and stories to go along with the meal so I find the environment to be very comfortable.

        1. Just wondering, for those who are familiar or have been to Masa NYC or Urasawa LA - how would these 2 places fare against Tokyo's elite sushi-yas: as what they're now or hypothetically had they moved to Japan?

          Personally, I only have been to Urasawa - I thought the concept of sushi-kaiseki was really good. Compared to Tokyo restos, Urasawa's kaiseki part (8-9 appetizers) should've no problem to perform at 2-star level at the very least while his sushi was 1.5-2 star by Tokyo's standard. The dessert is above average for sure; he always makes an effort to serve real ones - not simply serving Japanese fruit

          10 Replies
          1. re: Bu Pun Su

            That sounds like ChuckEats review of Sushi Sho Masa, and his comparison with famous sushi-yasan in NY, at different part of his review...
            What surprised me was the sentence 'the fish not necessarily fresher since many high end places air ship it from Japan' !
            This is difficult to understand... The quality of sushi is very dependent on quality (a part of it being freshness). And this is a key issue for sushi chefs, as only a small part - estimated at 10%(yes!) of good (well, good enough for sushi) quality fish is on the market !
            That is why Jiro relies on an exclusive broker,and never ask for discount, as do most high end sushi !
            Sushi grade is far for from being average good quality fish... That said, I do not argue that NY is a city where sushi improved a lot..

            1. re: Ninisix

              Good point about the freshness issue
              But then, many sushi places near Tsukiji market supposedly got the freshest stuffs, right? The thing is fresh does not necessarily translate to the best quality since we know that the top notch toro, uni etc., as you mentioned, are usually sold to high end sushi-yasan.

              Perhaps, it's a similar case that we generally find the best Brittany (and some Normany) seafood in Parisian fine dining restaurants; rarely even the best restaurants in north west of France got such great seafood (Olivier Roellinger's gastronomy resto. in the past was an exception)

              1. re: Bu Pun Su

                Well, these 10% are not only sold to the high places at high prices, but their chef can typically exert first choice as well. Tsukiji Market is not an easy place, chefs have to be well knowledgeable, or they will be sold dubious quality fish. Even now, 'kohada', a fish traditionally found in Tokyo bay area, also comes from other areas, and 'shinko(baby size)' cost a fair price. So chef have to know, by season, the best place to buy it.
                Raw sounds simple (fresher the better ...), but actually sushi-ya uses carefully managed raw products. Depending on the way the fish is killed/stored/prepared, the ATP(=energy)/oxydation varies, differently for each fish essence. 'Uni' will be served fresh, 'sumibika' a bit aged with this texture soft and ferm so you've got the teeth that can cut the flesh, white fish can be aged longer than red flesh like maguro.
                With ATP around 20, fish will be served as sashimi. With ATP between 40 and 80, it will be served as sushi. Last step of conservation is the touch of the master…

                1. re: Bu Pun Su

                  Well, explaining ATP in detail feels like having to explain the whole cosmos! Nagayama San the chef of Dai San Harumj came up with a nice explanation (but only in Japanese) :
                  For exemple : creation of flavour :
                  ATP (= adenosine triphosphate) which is the energy source of the living body disintegrates progressively with time, and will generate inosine that will give you the tasting flavour

                    1. re: Ninisix

                      Thanks for sharing the info
                      How would the Chef know the ATP level of the fish?
                      It makes more sense to know (by touching it) about the fish's flesh or muscle condition

                      Choosing and (when) serving sashimi at the optimal condition is indeed very complex - combination of art and science I suppsoe

                      1. re: Bu Pun Su

                        Yes, definition is a bit technical - with rather difficult underlying concepts (oxydation, energy, amami, ...). That said, sushi yasan understand well the figures, they do know that for exemple for maguro, it will be better to wait about a week. Another way to express it, for some species, top fresh fish are a bit crunchy !! Usually chef taste the fish. Even Yoshitake San practice such (week long) aging, you can see his box full of maguro, 4-5 blocks of maguro. Maguro served/cut as cube, and maguro for nigiri atually are not the same... If you're interested in reading such details about it, more and more, you will be addicted to sushi !

                2. re: Bu Pun Su

                  It's a difficult comparison to make, because the fish are never going to be what they can be in Japan, both for the reason Ninisix mentions and because in some cases that extra day en route can make all the difference but most importantly because of cost issues. Can Masa compare with sushi/kaiseki offerings at a third or a quarter of his insane prices? I'm sure. But then, if you plan to eat at more than a couple of them, doesn't it make more sense to ship yourself to Japan? :)

                  1. re: Gargle

                    True, that's why I also mentioned a hypothetical situation: "had they (Masa and Urasawa) moved to Tokyo/Japan"

                    I know that the price issue/value of money make things more complicated. The "closest" comparison I have probably: Urasawa (8 appetizers, 20 sushis, 2 desserts) vs Sushi Shikon (5 appetizers, 10 sushis and 1 dessert). After tax and service charge/tips - these 2 places produce the same damage for guests' wallet.

                    Personally, I would give a slight edge to Urasawa even though Yoshitake makes better sushi morsels, but Urasawa's kaiseki part was better and more creative. No doubt, traveling to Japan is the best option to try plenty of those as well as other type of Japanese cuisine (or even eat French and Italian food)

                    Basically, I simply try to assess whether Masa Takayama and Hiro Urasawa could stand as tall as the like of Jiro, Mizutani, Sawada, Nakazawa etc.
                    Another diversion/analogy: Thomas Keller, Jean Georges, Eric Ripert - at least for me, they're nowhere in the same league as Alain Passard, Pierre Gagnaire, Bernard Pacaud despite all of them having the 'same' Michelin 3-star.

                    1. re: Bu Pun Su

                      Michelin would not sell many guides if the results were that New York has no three star restaurants, just as it would not sell them if the results would be that there are hardly any three stars left in France, and even those are either on their last legs or begging for money from clueless tourists. :)