From our favorite places to eat omakase sushi to some top-tier neighborhood spots, here's where to have a big night out.Less
The cheapest meal at Sushi Noz costs $250—and it’s worth the price. This $250, nigiri-dominated meal happens in the so-called Ash Room and comes with three appetizers, 15 pieces, and miso soup. There’s also a more deluxe $400 version that can only be administered by Chef Noz himself. Generally, the selection of sushi at Noz runs traditional, which means a night here is all about the careful preparation and multi-sensory experience of sitting in a smoky cypress room.
This East Village restaurant almost exclusively uses ingredients found within the United States. They dole out bigeye tuna from North Carolina, striper raised in Bushwick, and incredible fluke sashimi that was caught so close to Rosella it could have taken the afternoon train from Montauk while enjoying a tallboy in a brown paper bag. An à la carte meal at Rosella will be the highlight of your week (and run you around $50), but the $150 omakase is particularly impressive.
At $420 a pop, Shion 69 Leonard Street is one of the most expensive omakases in the city. The restaurant delivers on everything it absolutely must for the price: skillfully prepared fish, impeccable service, and enough food. But what makes the two-hour meal truly outstanding is the seven-plate otsumami course in the first half, with signature dishes like butterfish in hot ponzu, a cold horsehair crab salad, and tilefish with deep-fried scales.
This party spot in Jackson Heights runs four nightly sushi omakase seatings, each with 15 pieces of nigiri, a couple of appetizers, and unlimited sake for $89 in cold hard cash. Whenever a diner’s cup empties, the owner tips a magnum of sake into their glass, and tops off his own cup for good measure. After about two pours, the people sitting next to you at the sushi bar will begin to loosen up. Then you can all sing along to “Mambo No. 5” together.
We always recommend Sushi Katsuei to anyone looking for a terrific, creative omakase that they can eat without feeling like Mr. Monopoly. This Park Slope restaurant opened in 2014, and then subsequently expanded to the West Village in 2017. Omakases at both locations start around $60 for nine pieces and a handroll, often highlighting unusual pieces like firefly squid or barracuda (plus more typical fan favorites like toro or uni).
The chef at Sushi Jin is the sushi godfather of the Upper East Side. And for the hour you’re sitting at his omakase counter, you’re officially part of his crew. The selection at Sushi Jin changes based on whatever is seasonal, but some atypical pieces might include a subtly sweet cherry sea bream, giant squid that tastes as creamy as a milkshake, and our favorite, a delicate and buttery Japanese tilefish. An omakase starts around $120, and you can call 646-609-6770 for a reservation.
We sometimes get tired of sushi costumes. You know the ones: unidentifiable crunchy bits, truffle uni painted with edible gold, and hills of roe that shimmer like sequins on a prom dress. Douska on the LES doesn’t bother with costumes. Instead, this casual spot specializes in to-the-point handrolls that bring together fresh yellowtail, a few rogue scallions, and warm vinegary rice in a little hug of crispy nori.
Sushi Seki is similar to Sushi Of Gari in terms of fish quality and a commitment to unexpected flair (broiled tomatoes on salmon, tofu on tuna, etc). That’s because Chef Seki actually started working at Gari before opening this place. The main difference between the two is that here you can always expect a late-night scene of people who have lived in the neighborhood for 20 years sitting at the sushi bar, as well as sleepy chefs eating after their shifts. We usually order the $42 special.
On East 12th Street just below Union Square, there’s a big unmarked black door with a bouquet of dried flowers instead of a sign. Open the door and get past the velvet curtain, and you’ll find a party. A party where you have your own personal sushi chef, where your sake or cocktail glass is never empty, and where the music moves from Lauryn Hill to Wu Tang Clan to Biggie. But nothing can distract the sushi—18 of the best bites of fish we’ve ever eaten.
You can usually fit sushi places into one of a few categories. They range from “it’s a Tuesday and this place on Seamless seemed fine last time” to “I want to eat like Jeff Bezos for just one day.” Domodomo is unique in that it’s hard to place neatly into a tier. Aesthetically, the restaurant feels very upscale, but the $97 signature Domokase comes with more than most would expect (10 pieces of sushi, miso Chilean sea bass, a tuna cone with truffle oil, and more).