one of my greatest pleasures is having an amazing dining experience when it's least expected. and that's what happened to me on sat when i went to sushi seki (1st ave bet 62 & 63). being in the mood for sushi but not wanting to travel too far from home, we decided to try this new rest after reading a post that the owner used to work at sushi of gari. sure enough, alex and seki both are former chefs. apparently seki worked there for about 6 yrs before venturning off to do his own thing, but not before learning to copy most of gari's secrets. for fans of gari's omakase course, you'll be happy to know that seki can do it just as well. the maguro with tofu sauce, toro-takuan, seared toro, salmon topped with tomato, are all on par with gari. the funny thing is that we just wanted a 2 or 3 pieces of nigiri, but seki and alex just kept serving us these amazing and unusual nigiris that we said,"just keep it coming!" other nigiri highlights were, uni, grilled ankimo, whole shrimp (including the head), mirugai with ankimo paste, hamachi with jalapeno and cilantro pieces, sanma, maguro (i think) topped with marinated seaweed, onions and garlic chips, fluke (again, i can't remember) topped with a mentaiko-okra paste, smoked salmon with onions and mayo.
one thing that i can't report on are their rolls. just so you understand my taste, i'm not a fan of rolls, strictly nigiri and sushi. and in the 7 or 8 times that i've been to gari, i've only gotten the off the menu omakase course. so i can't speak for the other dishes on seki's menu in comparison to gari. to tell you the truth, when i'd pass by the rest and look at their menu it looked like your typical japanese sushi rest. nothing really stood out. thank god we sat at the sushi counter and met alex and seki.
be warned that it wasn't cheap. for the two of us, sushi a la carte (maybe around 13 pieces/person) plus beer and sake was $240. i think next time we'll order the omakase course. now i know many of you will say for those prices why not just go to gari?! and your right, but because they're still new and slow we were able to take our time and the chefs totally catered to us. all on a sat night! i can't wait to go back.
hope you have a great experience there as well.
ps. being relatively new to this board, should i have written "long" in the subj header, and if so, why?