Sushi Yasuda | Yo Dat Shit Was Dope!
Sushi Yasuda is a revered one-star Michelin sushi spot in Midtown East, Manhattan. The place came highly recommended by friends and food bloggers alike.
Ewa brought me here as a Christmas present and I have to say, it was one of the best gifts I'd ever received. The actual best was an animatronic Godzilla action figure that I got when I was 5. I played with it until the skin fell off.
Back to the topic at hand. We went into Yasuda on a Thursday evening, and the place was packed full. Ewa specially requested seats at the Sushi bar, because that's where all the action is. We took our seats and they promptly brought us some hot tea, as well as the smallest Perrier bottles I have ever seen (5 oz?). Our waiter gave us a few minutes to inspect the menu before coming back. We ordered 1 item a la carte -- The Monkfish Liver. For the main attraction, we both opted for Omakase (chef's choice). The regular menu looked pretty good, but at a joint like this, you'll want to put your dining decision in the competent hands of a true professionals. Our sushi chef asked if we had any preferences or allergies; his intention is to tailor the meal towards your inclinations. We told him to throw anything our way and we'd eat it.
While he went about preparing the first course, we dug into the Monkfish Liver. It was perfectly airy without a single hint of fishiness that sometimes accompanies this dish. With our appetites whetted, we knew that we'd made the right decision.
Onto the Omakase. We had a total of 15 courses. Each course was comprised of an immaculately fresh, perfectly prepared piece of seafood on a bed of sushi rice. I'm not joking when I say that this is the best rice that we've ever eaten. Yasuda rice 4 lyfe bruh.
Our chef described each dish with a minimal amount of words. While very soft-spoken, he was clearly a man who let his food do the talking.
Here are all of our Omakase courses, in order:
- Sea Eel
- Seared Ocean Perch
- Toro Handroll
- Uni (a different variety)
- Seared Fatty Toro
Every single piece featured a different preparation method. For example, the Squid was vented in a criss-cross pattern. The Sardine featured a small dab of (real) wasabi underneath. The Ocean Perch was lightly seared with a torch to bring the fat bubbling to the top.
As I ate each piece, I couldn't help but think to myself, "holy shit, this is almost too intense for my taste buds right now!" I absolutely needed the sparkling water and fresh ginger to clear my pallet in between each course, or the cumulative flavor would have caused my tongue to fall right out of my mouth. It was really good, is what I'm trying to say.
At the end of the meal, we were completely satiated. It was the perfect balance of clean sea protein, sauce and rice. We sat sipping hot tea, basking in the afterglow. Who needs drugs when you got Yasuda? After a while of holding up the bar seats, we finally paid our bill. They do not accept tips here; everyone is paid a great salary.
On the walk home, I was hoping that little pieces of the fish would be stuck in between my teeth, so that I could enjoy it on the train ride home. Alas, no such luck man.
Omakasay what? You better bring the Benjamins, cuz this place is $$$-$$$$!