I've lately been hearing a lot about closures or declines of some of my favorite sushi spots on the West Coast. I don't eat as much sushi as I used to (it's the Portland effect: there was only one spot there that I liked) and so I thought I should take the time to highlight what's probably my favorite sushi spot: Yasuda in New York City. UPDATE: Yasuda is now closed.
Snipped from my trip report on pdxplate:
After a few well-made drinks, we took a cab to midtown for dinner at Yasuda. We were treated to an excellent omakase dinner, among the highlights being gensaba nigiri, a fattier version of mackerel, shown here on the left next to Spanish mackerel on the right. Both cuts were excellent, but the gensaba was really special.
gensaba and spanish mackerel
We were also treated to an excellent pairing of king salmon, of which the white version was the stuff of legend. Everything all together worked out wonderfully, from the richness and sweetness of the fish, the bite of the wasabi, the maltiness and temperature of the rice... The normal king salmon was good, but the white king salmon was a-freaking-mazing.
masunosake (king salmon)
Here are the other photos:
toro and maguro (tuna)
ikura (salmon roe)
uni (sea urchin roe)
rock oyster nigiri
unagi (freshwater eel) and anago (sea eel)
orange clam with salt
kani miso (crab "brains")
chawanmushi (savory egg custard)
As you can see, in addition to standard nigiri faire, Yasuda also excels at less common items like orange clam and trigger fish. I was also excited to see some of my favorite options available too: kani miso is a mix of the fat and roe of what's left over after you take all the lump meat out of a crab, and chawanmushi is an egg custard that's flavored with mushrooms and fish stock. Both of those dishes are examples of a certain deliberateness on the part of the kitchen: no one accidentally puts them on the menu.
I've overdue for another trip to New York City, but you can be certain that Yasuda is high on the list of places to go once I do return.