Deprived of good, not insanely priced fish in Paris, we naturally made arrangements to eat seafood in New York. Dinner at Sushi of Gari fulfilled both our rice and raw fish requirements.
We met our friends the newly-weds at Sushi of Gari 46, the Theater District branch of the mini-chain, famous for their innovative nigiri sushi. Interestingly, the restaurant was still packed to the rafters at 8:30 pm, proving to the snobs amongst us that it is not just a place for those with shows to catch.
On the recommendation of our friends, we each ordered a sushi special, benefiting from the interesting pieces of nigiri that the restaurant is famous for, but at a much gentler price than a straight-up omakase. The downside is of course the lack of choice and perhaps the absence of some pricier pieces. Still what we got was more than enough to scratch our sushi itch.
All of the fish atop the molded rice had been enhanced, with a dab of sauce here, a mound of toppings there, and/or a good sear. And though the enhancements were slight, the changes in the texture and taste to the fish were substantial. I especially loved the miso cod (with a very deft hand at seasoning) and the seared toro with a hint of spicy pickled jalapeno that just slithered down my throat. Surprisingly, I was not a fan of the oft-praised tuna with tofu cream, finding it plain bland and lacking a certain je ne sais quoi, and instead favored the vegetarian eggplant nigiri that had somehow absorbed all the umami flavors of the bonito stock without being soggy or water-logged. I wouldn’t even miss the fish if I could have more of that. Desserts were a downer, as if the kitchen had spent all their imaginative juices on the sushi and left none for the pedestrian dessert offerings. One would be better served skipping the industrial mochi and instead just getting another sushi, custardy tamago or naturally sweet uni perhaps?
Sushi of Gari (multiple locations, we ate at the 46th Street branch)