Ran is an underappreciated bright spot for Forest Hills sushi lovers. “This is a true jewel of a place,” declares Linda. She describes a sashimi combination of impeccably fresh tuna, fluke, octopus, yellowtail, salmon, and mackerel, cut with skill and embellished with seaweed, lemon slices, and other well-chosen accompaniments. Others praise futomaki and ume-shiso rolls, among other things, and rank Ran well ahead of neighborhood competitors like Sato and Mickey’s Place.
Beyond sushi and sashimi, look for a fresh, simple tuna-avocado salad and better-than-average cooked dishes including agedashi tofu, smoky red miso soup, lightly seared tuna in ponzu, tofu steak with mushroom sauce and fresh vegetables, and tender beef short ribs in sweet sauce (“like Korean galbi-jjim, but better!” Linda promises). A handful of Japanese expats appear to have discovered the place, but, still, business remains alarmingly sparse. “I really love it. I don’t want to lose it. Please, hounds, give them a shot,” pleads SuzyP.
At Sushi Yasu, it’s all about the fish. Except for a couple of varieties of miso soup, sushi is all they serve at this friendly hole in the wall. Yasuji Hirashiki, the owner and sushi chef, travels to Hunts Point every day to select his seafood. In fact, his shop was a fish market before it was a sushi bar, and he still sells sushi-grade tuna and other fish.
Dave_G has had pristine toro and day boat scallops, among other things. “Yasu claims the scallops are so fresh you can see them moving,” he adds. “I didn’t see it, but they were very good.” Other standouts include rolls—spicy tuna, salmon skin, toro with scallion, and the show-stopping Marilyn Monroe, which stars those singular scallops plus other ingredients, topped with a smashing secret sauce of uni and mayonnaise. “Trust me, it’s really good,” swears Dave.
Ran Japanese Restaurant [Forest Hills]
103-01 Metropolitan Avenue (near 71st Road), Forest Hills, Queens
Sushi Yasu [Forest Hills]
71-45 Yellowstone Boulevard (between Clyde and Dartmouth), Forest Hills, Queens