10/11/2012 12:25:00 PM

First Bite: Sushi Masaru, From Bond St. Vets, Now Open in Chelsea

This week, former Bond St. chef Henry Yang unveiled his own Chelsea spot Sushi Masaru, on a strip of Eighth Avenue that hasn't been having much luck lately. Joining him at the bar is Sushi Samba chef Kenji Zenshosushi: The pair, with the help of sushi pro Shoji Iso (he owned the east village spot Iso, which was Keith Haring’s favorite hideaway) are turning out creative rolls along with traditional sliced fish. Many of the offerings are flown in from Tokyo's Stukiji market. Here's a look at what you can expect:

Food: Sushi runs the gamut from a vegetarian Ume Shiso roll $4.25, to shirako (cod sperm; $12) to a kobe beef and shiitake roll ($18). Omakases go for $50, $80 and $100, while kitchen dishes are generous, flavorful and gently priced. A huge Amish chicken breast with fresh vegetables and a choice of white or brown rice is a mere $15; seared salmon with yozu and green tea soba is priced at $20, and Wagyu steak with shishito peppers and a red wine reduction is $35.

Drinks: Signature cocktails include the lychee martini ($12) and cherry blossom margarita ($12).

D├ęcor: No uncomfortable stools at this new spot: Chairs at the sushi bar are cushy black leather, and the bar itself is black granite with cherry oak trim. Floors are gray stone and exposed brick painted white, contrasts with a smooth slate wall and lavender accents.

A huge floral arrangement dominates the entrance to a raised dining room, which has picture windows overlooking illuminated trees.

Music: Jazz early in the evening and pop in the later hours.

Crowd: Chelsea locals mix with Joyce Theater goers and sushi aficionados.

The Details: 169 8th Ave.; 212-627-8887


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