The entrance to the building on W 28th St. is covered with building permits. There is no sign saying Noda.
It reminded me of Japan with restaurants hidden in basements of buildings or in hard to find tiny alley ways.
The fellow at the door confirmed it was Noda. Once you enter, the manager welcomes you and seats you In the bar area, while you await to be seated at the sushi bar. It is a small but nice cocktail area, with nice assortment of cocktails and sake. If you order a bottle of sake and can't finish it, they will put your name on it and hold it until your next visit.
Then the velvet curtain opens and voila, the curved light colored wood sushi bar, and an area behind it where an assistant prepares the cooked dishes. The layout is quite nice and the sushi bar seats 8 people.
The manager/sommelier is very friendly, and fluent in Japanese. The waitress is quite nice and is Japanese born in Brazil, but later lived in Japan for many years.
Chef Tsunoda-san is very sociable, very skilled and has a great demeanor.
The music doesn't exactly suit the mood, but I happen to like Smokey Robinson, the Temptations and the Rolling Stones.
THE MEAL ( photos attached)
1- Surinagashi ( Mushroom Broth) accomapnied by 2 thin crisp mushroom chips. This was very delicious.
2-Chawanmushi with Hokkaido uni and caviar. Excellent Chawanmushi
3-Wild Buri from Ishikawa sashimi. Exquisite.
4-Scallop from Iwate- this was grilled and tasted great.
5- Ankimo- monk fish liver- perhaps the best I've ever had. Not the typical cylindrical ankimo. This is creamy delicious, homemade , free form ankimo from Boston. Wonderful.
6- Nodoguro Nitsuke- Black throat sea perch from Nagasaki( has other names akamutsu, rosey sea perch). This fish was simmered and it was a nice preparation.
7-Wakame with Ponzu from Iwate. Tiny and just a pallet cleanser basically.
8- Kinmedai from Chiba , sushi.( golden eye snapper) Everything perfect about it. The chef uses Koshihikarari rice from Niigata,. He uses a blend of two types of Red vinegar. One strong one mild. A better blend than Ginza Onodera.
9-Shiro Ebi sushi from Toyama ( white shrimp)- very good
10-Kamasu Sea Pike, some say Barracuda, from Kanagawa. A great piece of sushi.
11- Akami- ( lean tuna) from Kouchi- It was really delicious.
12-Chu-Toro ( medium fatty tuna) also from Kouchi- was fantastic.
13- O-Toro ( fatty tuna) also from Kouchi. About 120kg fish. Very good amount of fat, it melted in your mouth. Perfect temperature, Very nice watching the chef prepare the 8 pieces of sushi. The shari was perfect too.
14-Saba ( Mackerel) from Kanazawa. The menu says Saba/Spanish Mackerel. To the best of my knowledge Spanish Mackerel is Sawara. This fish certainly looked like Saba, and chef confirmed that.
Nice rolled up preparation. He filleted it and took the thin membrane off, while you watched, not pre-cut.
15-Bafun Uni from Maine and Hokkaido. Very tasty.
16- Murasaki uni from California served over Hokkaido hairy crab. Delicious.
17-NegiToro maki- Tuna Scallion handroll. A sign you meal is coming to an end. Good Handroll.
18-Tamago- Very good tamago. I do prefer it with more of shrimp taste. This one was a bit sweet and custardy. Nonetheless excellent.
19- Wasanbon Ice Cream with matcha gelee and strawberry.
20- Soba Cha ( buckwheat tea).\\\\
A fantastic Omakase meal. Everything was excellent. Food, service, atmosphere. My only suggestion, and this was discussed with the chef, was to have more shiny or blue fish ie. iwashi, kohada, aji, etc and also anago, awabi, octobpus. Chef was misinformed by owners that Americans aren't fond of that type of fish. Myself and other patrons, corrected that assumption. Chef will be adding more of those in the future.
Omakase s $285 tip included. The amount of food was perfect. I look forward to going back. This is up there with the best. After a few visits I'll see if I think it is the best. Good possibility. I still have to try the Sushi Amane downstairs at Mifune. with the chef from Saito.