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citizenkitchener's Profile

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15 East Omakase vs Tasting Menu

Kanoyama is not that good and for the life of me, I cannot understand why you are placing it alongside three sushi bars that surpass it in every way imaginable. Aside from run of the mill fish you'll find everywhere, they charge prices comparable to the best places in Manhattan. Am I missing something?

Mar 25, 2013
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Best sushi in Manhattan

yeah but the acceptable p.h. i believe requires too much vinegar. the regs are messed up and need to be changed. ditto for forcing chefs to wear clumsy latex gloves.

Dec 29, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Best sushi in Manhattan

health regulations . . . in order to pass a random inspection, the rice has to be kept at a certain temperature. normal sushi rice would not be considered warm enough for most part.

Dec 29, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Best sushi in Manhattan

turnover is probably high on those safe species . . . if you want to enjoy the freshest best-tasting fish, those varieties are good bets. if you want to try a wider array of sushi without sacrificing quality, 15 east

Dec 29, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Best sushi in Manhattan

kochi is one of the few fish you rarely see that i'd say is worth trying. 1 or 8 offers an eclectic array of seasonal fish . . . and you'll find fish there that are rarely seen in any of the other sushi bars in the city.

Dec 29, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Best sushi in Manhattan

Thought I posted this, apologize if double-post . . .
sushi uses minimal handling, preparation, movement . . . chopsticks go against the flow. not like reverence is order . . . but you know, it's kind of like eating tea sandwiches with a fork . . . nobody is saying you can't but still . . . plus, how often can you eat such fancy food with your fingers!

Dec 26, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Best sushi in Manhattan

Although I can't stand powdered wasabi, the more common use of grated wasabi mixed with various fillers is pretty good, and given the extrodinary cost of real wasabi, I don't find fault with restaurants not using it. It's like $100 / lb. if not more.

Seems like good chutoro is harder to find than otoro!

Jul 17, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Neta: Ex Masa and Bar Masa Head Chefs Open an Understated Stunner in the West Village

Highly suggest trying it and deciding for yourself. It is without a doubt trying to be a different sort of sushi restaurant than 15 East, etc. And even though it wasn't to my taste, you may find a lot to like about it! And I should note, I didn't try any of their vegetable sushi -- outside of Zen, they are the only place that has such an extensive selection. If I remember correctly, it was praised in the Times.

Jul 17, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Neta: Ex Masa and Bar Masa Head Chefs Open an Understated Stunner in the West Village

Unagi prices are skyrocketing in general due to the challenging nature of the fishery and demand for cheap eel.

Jul 17, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Neta: Ex Masa and Bar Masa Head Chefs Open an Understated Stunner in the West Village

The chefs at Neta are very skilled, no doubt. And I can actually appreciate their attempts to integrate American sushi styles with more traditional ones . . . but I guess some of those efforts just weren't to my taste.

Jul 17, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan

Neta: Ex Masa and Bar Masa Head Chefs Open an Understated Stunner in the West Village

It's not like I didn't enjoy my food. But it just wasn't as enjoyable as an omakase . . .

Well, if you eat a lot of it you can tell. I mean, farmed eel from China tastes like dirt, for one. It swims in its shit along with thousands of other eels and well, it tastes like it. And the cloying sauces the vacuum packed stuff comes in taste pretty much the same, heavy on corn syrup etc. The eel at Yasuda is very good, and I remember having shirayaki, kabayaki, along with anago. There may be higher grades of pre-packaged unagi kabayaki, but the stuff I had at Neta tasted like stuff I could buy at Sunrise Mart. That's not to say it wasn't one of the best eel avocado rolls I've ever had (the crisp nori, rolling technique, and rice made it so), or that I didn't find the eel salad tasty (I did) -- it's just not something I want to pay $200 to experience. Crisp nori, good rice, and solid technique don't justify the price point if I'm getting cheap eel. I'd rather get good aji.

Shirayaki eel is usually frozen, but is of a higher grade as it generally comes direct from Tsukiji. Live eel is certainly availale, both domestic and Japanese, and so is fresh-bled eel, but whether or not all sushi chefs in the city are familiar with preparation techniques, I don't know. Believe 15 East serves hamo (pike eel), which requires more technique than unagi, so I'd think he's certainly capable. Some higher end places may use the shirayaki, which is pre-grilled, but use their own sauces and techniques on it to do the kabayaki style, but don't quote me on that.

All the same, I wasn't impressed with the quality of the eel at Neta, so being served two courses of it was a let down. The toro / chutoro is another matter -- while keeping the fish so pink is a task unto itself and while I found their rolls and nigiri to showcase strong technique, I didn't need three toro servings, and, like I said, would've preferred a more diverse nigiri selection considering I was spending $200. That's why we order omakase anyway. It made me question whether or not the chefs were well-versed in preparing more delicate items like aji, saba, etc. It's one thing to be able to slice a piece of fish and make nigiri . . . I pay to appreciate the entire preparation process.

This is kind of my point . . . I found the omakase just a sort of play between knock-out punches like the fatty tuna and jabs like haute spider / dragon rolls. A fried blowfish appetizer was, were it not for the somewhat exotic blowfish factor (even if it is non-toxic Long Island blowfish), just a piece of fried fish. And the akami marinated in garlic-soy was heavy-handed and unnecessary. The akami was completely overwhelmed by the garlic. And why on earth does akami need garlic anyway?

The suji was good, but again . . . as someone else mentioned, it's a scrap.

It takes real skill to prepare impressive aji, saba, etc. It's hard to mess up a piece of fatty tuna or negitoro roll. You feel me?

Jul 17, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan
1

Neta: Ex Masa and Bar Masa Head Chefs Open an Understated Stunner in the West Village

Had to edit this down . . .

Had the expensive omakase.

Main thing here for me was that the unagi in both the salad and eel avocado roll tasted like the pre-packaged frozen kind. Asked manager if they used fresh eel and was told it's not available in the U.S. Since this is untrue the bullshit detector went off . . . and from there . . . you know . . . the garlic-soy akami was too strong for my liking. I've no idea why anyone would put garlic on akami, but you know . . . whatever. Didn't try any specialty rolls, because I wasn't interested, although for roll lovers, they're bound to be way beyond average.

\At one point, had an intern or someone bring over uni, didn't even know where it was from . . .

Was asked about fish preferences before meal. Said I liked silvery skin. Was told they had kanpachi. Whoopie.

That kind of stuff . . .

Jul 13, 2012
citizenkitchener in Manhattan
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