Sushi Yasuda | 204 East 43rd St. (bet. 2nd & 3rd Aves.) | 212.972.1001 |

THERE WAS AT least one advantage to the post rush hour traffic that gridlocked my cab on my way downtown to have dinner with my good friend, Trixie. It forced me to jump out of the cab eight blocks before my destination and walk out an energetic clip, enough so to work up a greater appetite for the meal I had been most looking forward to for over a week.

The meal would be at the Anthony Bourdain-praised and otherwise universally-revered Sushi Yasuda, a—yes—sushi place whose offerings are elevated by not just the quality of the fish—which is exceptional—but by the traditional years-long study in the art of prepping and making sushi (and, very importantly, the rice), and sashimi.

Which makes for a great dinner experience for me and Trixie as we had reserved seating at the "chef's table" for omakase service, which meant that our chef would chose our menu items for us, and prepare them one by one. The chef's table was the real heart of the place, and Trixie and I were thrilled to be seated at it.

Trixie ordered the main course that offered 8 pieces of sushi and a half roll. I ordered the same with the 12 piece of sushi option, and was lucky enough watch our kind, sweet chef not just make our dishes, but the selections of the customers next to us as well, as seen in this video here.

I was smart enough to take notes as well, which made it easier to make to make this chart for your referential pleasure.

I don't think I can put into words how great everything I ate was. The hyperbole I want to use would spawn more cynicism than belief in most, but, trust me, the sushi you've been eating is not sushi. What I've been eating up until yesterday is just raw fish on rice.

Yasuda's rice is a star in itself, with silky, firm pearls of kernels with the added palatable ambience of traditionally-aged vinegar. The rice doesn't just support the fish, but accentuates it as well, helping the tongue appreciate each different fish' individual nuance and taste, from the silky and clean earthiness of the King Salmon to the creamy, briny—but not "fishy"—unctuousness of the Sea Urchin.

Again, I'm worried about using superlatives, so may I suggest,if not insist, that you make a trip to Sushi Yasuda for yourself. Go omaksae at the chef's table. Even if it isn't your birthday, once you've finished you'll feel like you celebrated something wonderful. And you'll thank me.

And, while I'm at it, thank you , Trixie, for being such a wonderful birthday present, and for treating me to such a wonderful, unforgettable birthday dinner!

Bun Apple Tea!


Sushi Yasuda on Urbanspoon

Sushi Yasuda | 204 East 43rd St. (bet. 2nd & 3rd Aves.) | 212.972.1001 |