After leaving in the neighborhood for 3 years and dining on fine Manhattan sushi for the past 10 (Blue Ribbon, Tomoe, Ebisu) - we finally found a local place that we can rely on.
For some reason it seems most people dining on Queens Blvd won't venture below 39th Place street - which has become its own veritable international restaurant row extended through 40th. You have Dazie's (Italian), Tangra (Asian Fusion), Hemsin (Turkish), Punjabi Haandi (Indian - new!) and Yamakaze (Japanese). Across the Blvd of death you also have Natural Tofu Restaurant (Korean).
Anyway after numerous disappointing meals at Ariyoshi, we love Yamakaze. The sushi has always been fresher, the ramen & noodle soups have been more flavorful, the service stellar and the lunch specials are indulgent. Even the miso soup is full of flavor and vegetables - the heartiest miso soup ever!
If you're a regular Ariyoshi diner, I would just implore you to try it. Too ofter we see Ariyoshi packed to the gills and Yamakaze is bare but we came to the conclusion that it must be the extra few blocks west that puts it off the chowhound radar.
They even let us bring our own sake and they kindly heat it up for us. Lowery Liquors between 40th & 41st Queens Blvd has a great selection.
39-11 Queens Blvd