My wife and I visited New York last week and, inspired by the Village Voice touting its "obsessively fresh" fish, ate at Tomoe Sushi. It was just ok.
We sat at the bar where a view of the tiny sushi case promoted immediate misgivings. It was a mess, the different varieties of fish all piled on top of each other and lacking the naturally moist, lustrous look of freshness.
Presentation on the plate was also a bit sloppy. Some of the pieces had large, knobby ends and the sashimi was artlessly arranged. This mattered because eating with your eyes is one of the great pleasures of sushi.
Most of it tasted pretty good, especially the well-marbled toro, but nothing was great.
Our waiter was excellent, warm and attentive which is a rarity in sushi bars.
We live in Texas, and I was a sushi waiter in Colorado, but my sushi experiences in New York, on this and previous visits (we hit one sushi bar per trip), have done little to stoke my coastal envy.
Yama's set-up was enervating- the waiter took our order, placed the ticket at the far end of the bar and later delivered it to us as if we were seated at a table. No communication with the chef was allowed! Here as well, the sushi was good but not great.
Nobu was excellent, but so expensive for such small pieces that we couldn't relax and enjoy ourselves.
Next time out, we'll seek Jonathan Gold's recommendation's and prepare to spend.
For the most part we ate very well, and cheaply, in New York thanks to Jim Leff's book. Rinconcito Peruano is awesome!