Tanoshi Sushi looks like countless other uptown sushi joints, but it’s generated a singular amount of buzz—most recently an ecstatic Serious Eats review that anoints it the “Holy Grail” for seekers of high-quality sushi at a moderate price. Chowhounds, though not quite so enthralled, say there’s a lot to like here.
Chef Toshio Oguma, a Morimoto veteran, runs the show, serving omakase-only dinners that start at just $50. He favors slightly warm rice, packed loosely so it falls apart readily in the mouth, and dresses his fish judiciously with wasabi, lightly sweetened shoyu, and citrusy, peppery yuzu kosho—no further seasoning required. This is sushi and sashimi “done the way it’s supposed to be,” UES Mayor says. “The sushi is very good here,” MVNYC agrees. “Is it the Holy Grail? No, but for cost-to-value ratio it does come through.” Yet another ‘hound, lexismore, has tried Tanoshi and doesn’t intend to return. “Not because it’s bad,” he says, “just because it’s not even close to the best the city has to offer”—Yasuda, 15 East, and the like. And in Tanoshi’s price range, he’s found better sushi at nearby Inase.
If you’re going, keep in mind that reservations are a must: Tanoshi, which is open Tuesday through Saturday, serves only 10 diners at a time in three nightly seatings: at 6, 7:30, and 9. And while its sign and website say it’s a sake bar as well as a sushi restaurant, Tanoshi is still waiting on a liquor license.
Photo by Mark Hokoda