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Eating alone at Yasuda

not awkward at all. last time i ate at yasuda i was alone. sat in front of one of the other chefs. ate a fantastic meal and there was virtually zero downtime...i was on a tight schedule and he knew i was there for the fish not the ambience so he made sushi as fast as i could eat.

if you want to sit in front of yasuda you should make a reservation and specify that you'd like to sit in front of him. the one time i tried that they were able to arrange it without a problem (there were two of us that night, not one, but that shouldn't matter).

Jun 27, 2007
bh_ in Manhattan

French bisto suggestions?

Myself and three old friends are getting together for dinner next week. Any suggestions for an outstanding French bistro? It's one of the cuisines I know shamefully little about.

All of us are guys in our late 20s / early 30s who live in New York. I'm looking for somewhere casual where we can eat some terrific grub and swap stories. Definitely don't want stuffy or business-like or romantic or velvet-rope-scene. Cost not really an issue.

All four of us are pretty seriously into our food, so that's the prime criterion here (which should go without saying, but just to be clear...)

The ideal would be something like tia pol (great food, casual vibe), but French and without a 4 hour wait.

I did a search but didn't see anything that fit the bill - apologies if I missed an applicable thread.

Any and all suggestions welcome.

May 07, 2007
bh_ in Manhattan

Latest Sushi Diaries

couldn't agree more about shimizu. great quality and very interesting selection. when in season have had shirako, sea pineapple, little tiny eels and other things that can be hard to find. as you point out, he's a really nice guy, and i think does a very good job of making selections .. really pays attention to what you like and what you don't.

used to go to the original gari location a lot - was sort of my introduction to higher end sushi. haven't been back in a long time so not sure how it is fairing now that it is a mini empire! i think very highly of gari, with the caveat that for me it's really a separate genre from the more straightforward and traditional style of sushi served at shimizu, yasuda, ushi wakamaru, etc. as a result actually think it's not 100% comparable. that said, i have found the ingredients to be of consistently high quality, and the stuff they come up with is inventive and interesting. again, haven't been there for almost 2 years so may be completely out of date.

Mar 10, 2007
bh_ in Manhattan

Latest Sushi Diaries

great post. for what it's worth couldn't agree more save one observation:

i think seki is way overrated. i live near it and have eaten there multiple times. the gari-style omakase dishes are *quite* tasty but have had incredibly mediocre fish in chirashi and sashimi (on two occasions actually inedible maguro). two possibilities: (i) they mask bad fish with the strong saucing of the omakase (unlikely to me, I think it would come through) or (ii) they use dramatically different quality for omakase and "regular" orders. Regardless, I think it is unacceptable in a supposedly top tier joint. for example, would never have happened at any of: yasuda, ushi or shimizu (and shimizu is actually cheaper to boot).

Mar 09, 2007
bh_ in Manhattan

omakase or kaiseki: where?

Particularly if you like conservative sushi it's worth the trip and the few extra bucks down to Yasuda, which is two blocks south of Aburiya at 204 east 43rd street. As others have pointed out, Aburiya is not a sushi place.

Feb 27, 2007
bh_ in Manhattan

Soup Dumplings - Where else?

As an uptown option, Shanghai Pavilion on 3rd between 78th and 79th has decent xiao long bao and tong po pork. I like the crab + pork soup dumplings better than the plain pork ones. Haven't done a side by side against joe's or shangahi cafe, but have had both and to me all three are comparable. Haven't tried new green bo, so can't comment there. One warning - the dumplings at Shanghai Pavilion are more expensive than the other two options.

Feb 24, 2007
bh_ in Manhattan

Momofuku Ssam is over-rated, go to Province!

I went to Province once and wasn't impressed. The mantou themselves were fine, but the fillings were under-spiced and the pork a little tough. Was disappointed, as I thought the concept was good and had very high hopes. Far from a final opinion - was only there once, but felt it wouldn't hurt to interject a dissenting opinion on the place. I'll try it again and report back if I have a different experience.

Feb 08, 2007
bh_ in Manhattan

Hot Pot -- best place for the spicy version?

oh yeah, should have clarified that. i was talking about the wly on lex btwn 39th and 40th. that is the only wly location that does huo guo / hot pot and they only do it during the winter months.

Feb 05, 2007
bh_ in Manhattan

Hot Pot -- best place for the spicy version?

I've had the versions at GS-lex, Wu Liang Ye and GS-Chinatown within the last 12 months. All in I think the best experience and flavor is at Wu Liang Ye's. Get some dan dan mien to start and that's one fine meal.

The soup base at gs-chinatown has more of a 'water' texture than wu liang ye's or gs-lex. not bad, just different. gs-lex used to be my go-to, but i've generally been gravitating away from the east-side gs branches in favor of wu liang ye (i think the quality of the ingredients is a little better). i think wly's version isn't quite as spicy, which is too bad.

One can also make it at home, which i have been doing lately. The bigger chinatown supermarkets have packages of the spicy soup base. I usually add some extra red peppers and sichuan peppercorns to that soup base.

Feb 04, 2007
bh_ in Manhattan