6/19/2012 12:48:00 PM

New York's 12 Best Sushi and Japanese Restaurants

Great sushi is a joy to experience, but it also can ruin you. Once you've tasted the freshest fish at an excellent Japanese eatery, it can be impossible to go back to that local sushi joint where the fare might be tasty without being so top notch. Well, if you want to see just how good NYC sushi can get, check out the list below from our 2012 New York Restaurants guide. Was your favorite sushi slinger left off the list? Let us know in the comments.

22 comments :

  1. Yasuda is #1 hands down... Gari is dog shit

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  2. I think you need to distinguish between traditional sushi and modern sushi, without denigrating one or the other. I think that Yasuda, Gari and Seki all into the latter category and all are exceptional, but the key to "modern" sushi is the creation of flavor pallettes, much like other cuisines.

    The key to the traditional sushi place, such as a good part of Masa, and all of Kurumazushi, is purity of flavor. The product and its quality is the total focus. Create sushi rice is a given, but the wonder comes from the quality of the fish and its perfect presentation.

    That said, as the best traditional sushi restaurant I nominate Kurumazushi, which is not even on your list. It is on the second floor of a mid-town east loft building on a side street. The fish is impecable, the presentation is miraculous. If you want to test my suggestion, take yourself to lunch where, for $20, you can get a sushi lunch special that will just astound you. There simply is none better -- and I have been to every restaurant on this list already.

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    1. Try Sasabune, on east 73 street. It's exceptional.

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    2. Never been to Kurumazushi. Will try it. So far, I have to agree that Sasabune was the best.

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    3. Sasabune uses hot rice, sushi falls apart. Inferior sushi. 15 East is the best traditional sushi in NYC. Kuruma is overrated. Brushstroke is excellent, Kanoyama excellent, Yasuda I have no use for. Gari is good once in a while. Jewl Bako and Azabo very good, and Hatsuhana remains good.

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    4. Sasabune doesn't even have a real sushi chef. Do you know that they pre-slice sashimi as there is only one person who can slice fish properly.
      Yasuda uses cheap local fish that they froze to dry. I haven't met any single Japanese long-time true sushi eater who likes there. All in all, many of those sushi place listed here are B-lister for any life long sushi eater.

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    5. Indeed!!! By: Anonymous Japanese

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  3. I would say Koi would be my number one pick!! Not only great sushi but tons of fun also!!

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  4. I would say i like sushi Sen-nin the best in NYC.. lots of selection fish and other...

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  5. Excuse me - not Morimoto???? We beg to differ.....

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    1. もりもとぉ〜?トラディッショナルとは言いがたい。米人向けかもね

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  6. 15 East! How in the world was this left off of the list?

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  7. We'll keep going to Japonica (on University Place in the Village) for our regular sushi fix. The quality of the fish is superb and its size is very generous.

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  8. good list to validate how zagat survey + critique is way past anywhere being close to relevant today.

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  9. 15 East is by far the best sushi I've had in NYC, and I've been to most of the places on this list. Chef Masa have fantastic fish and loves to tell you all about it.

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  10. Ive found that the better sushi places in Manhattan are less well known. I've eaten at Tomoe and Gari and they do not belong on this list yet they are praised year after year in the Zagat. I'd love to disclose my favorite sushi place, but I don't want it to be discovered. It is a gem of a place with 16 seats. You are greeted in Japanese and the diners are 95% Japanese. The quality is superb. Only true foodies would know about it.

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  11. MR ROBATA ON BROADWAY BETWEEN 52nd & 53rd STREETS IS ONE OF THE BEST NEW SUSHI
    RESTAURANTS IN NYC

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    1. I love Mr. Robata. Definitely better than most of the restaurants on this list.

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  12. あはは〜。とってもアメリカンだね!よかった、有名どころしか載ってなくて。

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  13. Katsuno in Forest hills, Queens is the real deal. We've been to Japan, and katsuno measures up, without the pretension.

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  14. JEWEL BAKO.... Always consistent. Always fresh. LUV!

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