Best Fancy Sushi: Sushi of Gari

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  • scene: Think of it as dinner theater; sit at the sushi bar and watch the Masters at work
  • sip: Sake; wine; beeer
  • savor: Omakase!!!
  • sit: With anyone who appreciates sushi or is willing to try new things; with a friend from out of town who thinks they know sushi; with someone with an expense account
  • spend: $$$$

Save your sheckles, sweethearts, because this one is worth it.  Forget everything you think you know about sushi, fish, and flavor in general, and pull up a seat to the sushi bar at Sushi of Gari for the omakase.  You will treated to a truly inspiring experience, where fish is given the royal treatment, dressed up, dressed down and paired with the most interesting other ingredients in order to ellicit maximum flavor.  Some of the pieces are striking in their simpleness and freshness, like uni “steaks” presented on rice.  Other pieces will awe you with their inventiveness, such as raw salmon with stewed tomatoes.  The entire experience is unique, and completely unlike the sushi experience offered anywhere else in the city.

The atmosphere at Sushi at Gari varies from location to location.  We actually prefer the slight grimness of the 46th Street location, it keeps us focused on the main attraction- the extremely skilled and proficient sushi chefs.  You can get the omakase without sitting at the sushi bar, but the pieces arrive on trays in a specified order, rather than placed individually in front of you as they are prepared, which is what happens at the sushi bar.   Some of the sushi chefs are more engaging than others, and certain people actually request their favorite chefs, but for the most part they are open to answering your questions without making a ton of small talk.

Let’s be clear- there is every kind of sushi available at Sushi of Gari, but is truly a waste to bring a California Roll eating friend here.  If you must, you must, but the original concoctions are really what sets Gari apart from any other sushi restaurant.  There are some delicious starters, including one involving fried cheese, but to indulge in these is to run the risk of not having enough room for sushi amazingness. You will be awestruck as piece after perfect piece is presented to you- glistening tuna topped with tofu sauce and hot sesame oil; delicately seared cod; chopped eel and avocado that tastes like a dessert; sweet shrimp topped with a briny caviar treat; snapper topped with salad and a crispy lotus chip…and so on and so on. You can go on as long as you wish, until your tummy or your wallet bursts…we usually give in around 10 or 12 pieces.

Just as a note, no matter how stuffed we are from the omakase, we always always order a spicy scallop hand roll to end our meal.  The nori paper is crunchy and the spicy scallop mixture is transporting. The green tea comes in my favorite mugs, adorned with Asian drawings making every kind of face  emotion imaginable. At that point we are are usually making the Food Coma face, or the Sticker Shock face, but also a Happy face.   We have heard rumors of a Gari opening in Tribeca, but regardless of location, Sushi of Gari is our pick for the best fancy sushi in New York City.

Sushi of Gari 46: 347 West 46th,between 8th and 9th; 212-957-0046 (great option for pre or post theater, they can crank it out for you)

Gari: 370 Columbus Avene, between 77th and 78th; 212-362-4816

Sushi of Gari Upper East Side: 402 East 78th St (near 1st Ave); 212-517-5340

P.S. Gari delivers…

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