106 Eighth Avenue
Ordering sushi from somewhere new always produces some tense moments. Will I get the freshest fish? Will the heat ruin the sushi during the trip? While heat didn’t touch the sushi, the quality of the fish was borderline.
Before the fish, I dug into four little cubes of Agedashi Tofu ($5): silky bits of tofu, lightly fried, studded with waxy shards of grated daikon, waited to be dipped in a sweet dashi sauce. Miso soup was exactly what I had hoped for: warm, rich, free, and totally unmemorable. A Hiroshima Roll ($10) was this eel-lover’s favorite treat. Eight large pieces melded eel with black mushroom, uncommon at sushi bars I frequent, and crunchy shrimp in a rich kamikaze attack.
An entree of Sushi Deluxe ($18) came with large pieces of nigri and a spicy tuna roll. In addition to the tuna, salmon, yellowtail, eel, and mackerel was white tuna (a luscious morsel I assume was escolar). The tuna was cut wrong, rendering it stringy, and the mackerel was off, so I didn’t taste it (nor would my cat). I assume these issues were due to ordering on a Monday, but that isn’t an excuse.
Returning days later to eat in the atmospheric and nearly empty restaurant, all of the fish was fresh. Skip Mondays — good practice for sushi in general — and you should be fine.
272 Court Street
718-643-0044, free delivery
Conventional thought dictates that sushi is best ordered at a counter, where you watch the chef slice your fish and request the fresh catch of the day. However, if you are like me and sushi ranks at the top of your most intimidating foods list, eating in the privacy of your apartment — where no one can judge you gauche for spitting an unappetizing mouthful straight into the garbage — is not only an attractive option, but the only one that might lead to a future where ordering sushi in public isn’t an anxiety-inducing exercise.
I began with my sushi staple, the Alaska Roll ($5.50). The familiar avocado/salmon combination was tasty, but pedestrian. I pushed it aside and went straight for the Sushi Deluxe ($17) — a spicy tuna roll and nine large pieces of sushi. I would be lying if I said I could identify every piece of fish; my unpracticed eye only recognized tuna and salmon.
Subsequent research revealed I had consumed mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and striped bass as well. Each was outstanding — fresh, carefully cut, and complex. And after my worries about sushi vs. sashimi (sushi minus the rice), I ended up jettisoning most of the rice. The fish morsels were so delectable, I didn’t need it.