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Sasabune - very good

Lau | Mar 8, 2008 07:58 PM

I ate at the NY branch of Sasabune (it's an LA sushi bar and I've eaten there as well) for the 2nd time today. I think its very good and probably tied with Soto on my list of sushi bars (#1: Yasusa / Kuruma, #2: 15 East, #3: Soto / Sasabune / Gari and #4: Ushi).

A few things you need to be comfortable with to like Sasabune:
- Warm rice: a signature feature of Sasabune is that they use warm rice as opposed to the room temperature that almost all sushi bars use. I like this, but some people don't. So if you don't like that then this probably not your place, but I think some people hold it against them which I think it sort of unfair b/c it's simply a different style
- Omakase style: this is one of the LA "sushi nazi" type places, its all chef's choice (although you can tell them you don't eat certain things like sea urchin or clam etc and you can tell them if you want more of something at the end). There is no menu (they don't offer anything besides what the sushi chef is cutting up literally) and you can't order spicy tuna rolls (i get a kick out of that haha). They also instruct you whether to put on soy sauce or whether it doesn't need it

One thing is that I ate kind of late at around 8:45 and they start to run out of some stuff. Like they ran out of uni and I think they might have run out of other things b/c they gave us scallop and amber jack twice. So I'd recommend going earlier if possible

Oh yeah...its a bargain (at least as far as top sushi restaurants go), it was around $120 (pre-tip / post-tax) for 2 people with 2 bottles of beer and 2 cups of green tea + I ordered two extra pieces of sushi...$60 a person is very reasonable for type of quality (and i was very full)

On to the food:
- albacore sashmi - this is a plate of about 5-6 slices of albacore in a sort of ponzu sauce and finely sliced scallions. Excellent, the fish was very nice and the sauce was not overpowering
- spanish mackerel - one of the best I've had in a long time, not fishy at all (not even a little bit) and just a really awesome cut (also it comes with no skin which is a little unorthodox)
- scallops (got this twice) - this was alright, i mean it was a good scallop, just nothing special
- amber jack (got this twice) - this was pretty good, but nothing amazing
- maguro - pretty good, very fresh
- yellow tail - excellent, very fresh
- butter fish - excellent, tender piece of cooked butter fish with a eel type sauce on it...i've never had this at any other sushi restaurant and i've had it both times here and I like it alot
- unagi - very good (one of the better places I've had unagi in NY outside of Yasuda, which takes the crown in NY for all things eel) was tender, wasn't oversauced and had great flavor...i ordered a second piece
- blue crab handroll - a little too much rice, but it was good...i mean crab sushi is not the most flavoful out there, but this was tasty
- monk fish liver - this was awesome, soft (not hard like some places i've had), creamy and had a sort of tangy sauce on it (i don't even really like monk fish liver very much)...probably one of the best that I've had

We might have had one or two other pieces, but I can't remember. Anyhow, this is a great addition to the Manhattan sushi scene and I think is highly worth trying if you're a sushi fan.

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