Sotohiro Kosugi has left Atlanta after 10 years and landed in New York City on Sixth Avenue and Washington Place. Jessica made reservations for the two of us to check it out last night.
The location is interesting. That part of the village is going through a transformation. A brand new building is across the street and I am pretty sure nobody has moved in yet. That particular corner has had two restaurants that have been there for years. One Mexican and other Indian. Although a block down the street are a few sex shops.
The space is stark and very bright. No ambiance what so ever. I guess after being in a strip mall in Atlanta, that is what happens. I really like the way the bar was built. Sitting at a table but being at the bar. Very comfortable and a small ledge underneath for your bag or handbag.
Menu is creative. One side is all raw, the other is all from the kitchen. Interesting combinations. It was only the two of us so we just tried two appetizers. We stuck with the raw but I’d be very interested in returning to check out the cooked appetizers.
We had the chyutoro tar tare. Large round shaped portion of chopped fatty tuna. On top was a layer of creamy avocado garnished with a line of black caviar and chopped chives. Underneath was a ponzu sauce. Really beautiful from all angles. Very yummy. We both agreed that they could have cut the thickness of the avocado in half to let the taste of the tuna come out. The ponzu sauce was a good addition. We also tried the Salmon Citrus. Folded pieces of lightly cured salmon sashimi served with a small mixture of scallion and cilantro over each slice and a light citrus sauce. Simple and good.
For our main courses, we opted for the omikase. This isn’t served like Sushi Yasuda where the chef hands you the pieces over the counter as he makes them. This is served at once. Not a jar of soy sauce in sight. We tasted each piece together. An interested combination of fish. It was all fresh and well prepared. Fish is one of those things that it depends on what you get that day. Sometimes it is more flavorful and others times it is sort of bland. I found some of the fish really tasty and other times tasteless.
Every dish that came out of the kitchen and raw bar looked interesting. I would have liked to taste more. I will definitely go back. But the bottom line for me is that Sushi Yasuda is what I compare everything to. The prices are the same as Yasuda but absolutely not as good. If Yasuda was in my neighborhood, it would be dangerous.
Jessica and I agreed that it was one of the best downtown sushi stops. We thought it would be fun to take 5 top sushi restaurants in the city (Masa not included due to price and it is so far superior to everything) and sit at the bar and do an omikase each night and rate them each accordingly. My guess is that Yasuda would still come out on top but it might be a really fun thing to do.
I agree Yasuda is the best traditional sushi in the city, but I think the omakase at Seki is ansurdly good. And it’s open late. Always a plus in my book.