We were in the UWS last night and the SO wanted Sushi. Having heard some good comments on Tenzan here, we decided to stop in there for a quick bite around 6ish. It was a good port of call, and if you are around the place (285 COLUMBUS AVE @ 73rd, 212-580-7300) it's worth visiting.
The exterior has a beautiful etched glass front and you enter into the sushi bar area, which has a small amount of seating. We were placed upstairs in a booth, which is probably preferable for people watching and spaciousness. I forgot to check, but I think there is a downstairs area too. The place is clean, brightly lit, and stylish with blond wood and red seat covers. The bathroom was very clean, happily. Do not expect tableclothes, which is a rarity in most non luxury sushi places anyways.
We ordered a sushi deluxe ($18), an extra salad ($3), eel roll, yellow tail roll, spicy tuna roll (all $5), shrimp tempura roll ($6) and a spider roll ($8) which was too much food for two people, but I don't mind leftover sushi the next day. The sushi deluxe came with two pieces of salmon/fluke/tuna each, and then some toro, yellowtail, sea bass, and cooked shrimp plus a tuna roll. The cooked shrimp was actually ok, unlike many other places where's it's kind of a throw away.
The fish was fresh, and tasty - notably large cut pieces with not too much rice. The rolls were beautiful and complex (lots of small additional ingreadients were in there too). It has been a while since I had such good sushi; the stuff in my cafeteria is weak as are the local places around my work. This was refreshing. The spicy tuna rolls are huge, and flavored with a little crunchy panko for some extra flavor. Very clever and tasty!
Service was good, but not great. They forgot one item, but graciously brought it up quickly when we noticed it. Attentive and quick checks were a plus.
This place is good value - we gorged ourselves, had leftovers, left a decent tip and still walked out for $66 all in. They take normal credit cards too.
The place has gotten some good marks from Zagats so its probably only going to get more crowded over time, but if you are around here or in the nabe for some reason, it's a good solution for the sushi craving.