Went to Yujin Wednesday night, the Japanese restaurant at 24 E. 12th Street.
Although minimalist in its décor, there's a feeling of trying too hard in terms of the physical space. However what the space lacked in physical warmth it made up for in the service - excellent. Gracious as could be and very knowledgeable. We're not talking Gramercy Tavern service, but for this type of restaurant, really good.
Onto the food... We started with the appetizer sampler. Four of their appetizers served in individual plates on one platter. Nicely presented. Red snapper ceviche with radish, celery and thinly shaved onions. O.K. Tuna "ravioli" (my quotes, not theirs, because this is an item that should have been in quotes.) I was expecting pasta of some sort. It's pieces of raw tuna wrapped around pineapple and avocado in a mint sauce with fried mint on top. Fine, but not something I would have selected had I known what it was. A rock shrimp dumpling. (that looked like a large ravioli) Tasty, but nothing earth shattering. The fourth choice in the tasting is short rib app, for which they swapped in the tuna tartare. Very good, but the tuna tartare at db bistro is better. We also order a lobster and salmon summer roll. (bland...) It came with a dipping sauce that was too spicy for me, but it should be noted I have no tolerance for spice.
I had a Yujin roll for my main, as I knew there were two desserts pre-ordered as we were celebrating a bday and I wanted to leave room. The roll is tuna, yellowtail and salmon wrapped in daikon with avocado and tobiko. Good, but nowhere does it mention the greens and cucumber in there and I didn't ask. Not a cucumber or greens in my sushi fan, so... The fish itself was good and my dining companion's main was excellent. Scottish salmon in miso with broccoli rabe. One of the most delicious pieces of salmon I've tasted. Just crisp on the edges, and moist throughout.
Desserts - very good - and not just for a Japanese restaurant. A molten chocolate cake with a caramel sauce and a Japanese cheesecake made with yuzu and a rice cracker crust. Glad I left room.
The prices are high, the appetizer sampler was $24 and our total bill for food and two bottles of water, w/tax and w/o tip was $113.
Glad I tried it, wouldn't run back, not because it's not good, just because for my taste there are so many more interesting choices in that price range.
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