Sushi Yasuda (NYC): Legendary for a Reason

Sushi Yasuda is one of those “legendary” sushi restaurants in New York that I’ve been hearing about since I moved here, but never seemed to find the right excuse to check out to see if it would live up to all of the hype. Luckily, one of my best friends from college and editor extraordinaire at Bon Appétit Magazine, KS, just got engaged to his boyfriend and first-rate celebrations were in order. Cut to the chase – we LOVED the meal.

Snapshot of some of the highlights from Sushi Yasuda’s omakase.

We went in curious to see how the night would unfold, as similar to Sushi of Gari, there aren’t any set omakase options….instead, it’s the eat-until-you-tell-them-to-stop mentality. Although, thankfully, the chef does pause at a certain point to see if you’d like to keep going, around the $120 mark I believe (which therefore keeps you in check if you don’t want to accidentally go overboard on cost). We ended up spending about $180 each, which included 20 pieces total and a couple drinks!

What we found the most fun was that unlike other sushi omakases where the chef serves each piece one by one – nothing to complain about, of course – Yasuda features a unique touch where for nearly every plate, different varieties of the same fish are included as part of the same course. It was very satisfying to taste test similar yet distinct flavor and texture profiles in immediate succession of each other.

Here’s what we ate:

Uni being prepped by our glorious chef. Yes please.
Side by side uni – Hokkaido on the left, Santa Barbara on the right. Delicious.
Sea urchin cheers!
My #oneanduni. ❤
Beautiful snapper and kampachi duo.
The kampachi was so stunning I had to get a solo shot. Gorgeous presentation and smooth as silk texture.
The glorious salmon trio. From left to right: Alaskan King, Alaskan White King, and New Zealand King (my favorite, and incidentally, the cheapest of the three).
Tuna duo featuring fatty tuna on the left and bluefin tuna on the right. Smooth like butter and oh so good.
The grouper on the right (paired with mackerel) was actually our favorite bite of the evening! We both agreed the taste and texture were out of this world, silky smooth with a pop of crunch and sweet hints of the ocean. Insanely tasty.
Washington oyster with a hint of lemon. YUM.
Sweet shrimp on the left, ikura on the right.
Deep fried shrimp heads.
And this was dessert. We each got another piece of the grouper, and I also decided to try the giant clam (left) and sea scallop (right). The scallop was extremely fresh while the clam had a great tender yet chewy texture.
Oh and this was actually the first “course” of the night – okra. I LOVE OKRA. Thank you Yasuda, so simple yet so slimy good.
Yasuda sushi bar: clean, bright, airy.
…but we were the last seating, so as soon as our dining companions started to depart, they VERY quickly began to clean up and close down the place.

Sushi Yasuda – Pros:

  • The interior was not only incredibly sleek, but also one of the most spacious sushi bars I’ve ever sat at.
  • As mentioned above, loved that most courses featured multiple varieties of the same bite.
  • Quality! Very high grade and flawless presentation.
  • For its reputation and clout, as well as the service and the quality, $180/person as the final price tag wasn’t bad at all considering that included 20 pieces of sushi and drinks.

Sushi Yasuda – Cons:

  • The one complaint – and I’d read about this before, so was curious if it was actually going to happen – was that as the last seating at 9:30pm on a Saturday night, once certain chefs were finished for the night (aka all of their sushi bar guests had left), they immediately took off their aprons and began cleaning up for the night. In a matter of minutes, we went from a fabulously refined dining experience to kind of feeling as though we were in the back kitchen. We didn’t actually care that much, but it was a little…weird.

Rating [out of 5]: ★★★★

204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

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