Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sushi Yasu

Unfortunately, this post is super long overdue.  I tried to do something different with the pictures back in May, after I’d visited twice, but then it got shuffled to elsewhere and I’m only now returning to it.  I apologize deeply to those who live in Forest Hills; I’ve been keeping this gem from you.

Sushi Yasu sits on Yellowstone Boulevard, an easy, quiet walk from Austin Street or what some may call “Forest Hills proper” – which helps set it apart both in style and those who are willing to go ‘off the beaten path’ (uh, not really) for some delicious food.  It is sandwiched between a laundromat and a Chinese takeout restaurant whose menu looks moderately more interesting than your standard takeout place, and another door down is Da Silvano, which you may recall I visited when Sushi Yasu was closed, as it always is, on Tuesdays.

But I finally got to try it with BBE a few weeks later, when I plotted a return.  BFF/LTS had insisted that it was wonderful, and while I was semi-skeptical that truly fantastic sushi – the real kind, people, not California rolls and bento boxes and the like – could be found so close to my home, I had to check it out myself.

I was delighted to receive this as my soy sauce dish.  I love bunnies, something that may escape notice until you hear me squee’ing at their sight.  Ahem.

I suggested sitting at the bar, because I love watching my food being made; the expertise and skill exhibited in order to properly make a piece of sushi is just incredible, something I can only watch in awe.  The display case housed many types of sea life, some I recognized and some that I didn’t.  Off to a good start.

The menu was simple, offering some rolls, sushi by name, and soup or salad (green & seaweed).  I began to get really excited.  Menus like this – where less is more – speak volumes.  The focus here is on raw fish and some specialty rolls.

After a brief discussion, I talked BBE into getting the omakase with me; starting at $35, it starts with soup or salad (either, your choice).  The seaweed salad was light, and clearly not the star attraction here.  That’s to say it was tasty but nothing mind blowing.

BFF had mentioned the Marilyn Monroe Roll several times, which I think should be renamed the Marilyn Monroll… so I decided we should add that on as well.

Despite his less than adoration of certain seafoods, I was indulged.  Krab and avocado topped with raw scallops and the chef’s special sauce, the roll is rather large and comes with a $13.50 price tag.

It’s … sort of like a fancy, dolled up version of a California roll.  I found it very tasty, and really liked it, while BBE enjoyed it but probably a bit less than me.  I like the sauce a lot, and the texture the raw scallop imparts along with its unique taste.  It could become a go-to roll; just one of those would definitely fill me up.

And then the fish parade began.  Sadly, I must tell you that I had no pen&paper, and it’s been almost 5 months since I went, so you will have to suit yourself with looking at pretty pictures but me not knowing the names of everything.  And we got one each for the fish; if there’s only one in the photo, that means I only took photos of my plate.

This almost certainly looks like fatty tuna to me.  Please note that no matter what I ate, it was all very fresh and tasty.

Chef Yasu also made sure to tell us how to eat each piece – one of the bonuses of sitting at the bar.  “With soy sauce,” he might suggest.

“No soy sauce,” another time.  Not sure if it was for this one though.

He expertly pressed each piece together and laid them proudly on our wooden plates.

This is a piece of tamago, or rolled egg omelet slightly sweetened.  I wasn’t too fond of their version but I’m very iffy on this type of sushi – some places make it phenomenally (I used to always get this at this one place in Manhattan Mall when I was in high school… ah, memories!).  Some places don’t.  This was just OK – like eating a piece of cold egg, and I’m not that fond of cold egg.

Oh, and a bit of an octopus salad, which I enjoyed greatly.

This is the same exact picture with a slightly different tone given by tweaking in LightRoom.  This fascinates me.

Same salad, but just a piece.  I loved the pickly taste mixed with the briny octopus.

This one, Chef Yasu told us to eat in one bite.  You don’t have to ask me twice!  Considering this contained some of my favorite things to eat – salmon roe, raw salmon, avocado – there was no way I couldn’t enjoy the very fresh salmon that melted in my mouth like butter, along with the creamy avocado and the salty roe.  Oh, heaven, how I love you.

I really don’t know names – but I know this piece or the next piece, Chef Yasu had a story to tell.

One of these is a super rare fish that isn’t easy to get in the US, but he’s ‘got a guy’ who helps him.  Chef Yasu was really friendly, and asked me a couple of questions when he saw my camera.  Apparently he likes to take photos too, though of birds, not food.  He was amused by my shutter clicking, but made sure several times to give me the ‘prettier’ piece (not that BBE received ugly food, but maybe not quite as perfect).

We ended our meal with this piece, again I apologize sincerely because I can’t tell you what it is.  But I know I enjoyed it, and BBE and I both walked out, happily stuffed for $35/person (before tax/tip).  Note that Sushi Yasu is BYOB and we noted many people enjoying this policy, bringing their own beer, and that it gets quite full after 6pm.  We were lucky to get the last two seats at the bar, and thoroughly enjoyed our experience.

I may have even convinced BBE that dinner in the ‘burbs can be quite fantastic… and so can sushi ;)

Shortly after that visit, I wanted to return.  BFF/LTS was available, so I tagged her and we went to get sushi (and ice cream afterwards, haha).  We started off with miso soup on the rather cold day (remember this was 5 months ago! Do you remember what it’s like to be cold?).

I decided to follow BFF/LTS’s lead and order like her.  She ordered tuna and salmon, so I doubled the order.  This is “two” pieces each – generous with the fish, and look how gorgeous they are.  Well-marbled, fatty, delicious, melt in your freakin’ mouth fish.  LOVE.

We opted to order the Marilyn Monroll and another roll that we realized later … was just a salmon avocado roll.  Hahaha.

Funny enough, this was placed in front of us and we both looked confused.  Someone had ordered something similar to us, and I snapped a photo before we realized it.  It looks delicious though – I think that’s a rainbow roll.

Either way you cut it, I thoroughly enjoyed both visits and now mark this among my favorite sushi restaurants.

Yvo says: Excellent omakase with an even better price, fantastic chef, fresh fish, and just an all around great place.  I am thrilled that this place calls my neighborhood home, and I will be (and have been) back many times as I possibly can!
highly recommended

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Comments

11 Responses to “Sushi Yasu”
  1. Jenn says:

    No words? The pictures are beautiful, but I miss your descriptions today. :)

  2. TT says:

    amazing looking sushi. quite the omakase deal for $35.

  3. Connie says:

    Everything looks so fresh and delicious, I like how the chef made suggestions of the best way to enjoy the individual pieces. I know I’d appreciate that since I am a bit of sushi novice.

    • Yes! I wouldn’t say I’m a novice, but I know what I like / like what I know, so some of these fishes in the omakase were unfamiliar to me because I don’t tend to order blindly. So when he said this one is salty, this one might be fishy (he warned us), this one might need soy sauce, etc. it was very helpful. He also asked us if there was anything we wouldn’t or didn’t want to eat… it was a fantastic experience. And seriously, at $35/person, totally worth it.

  4. Hungry says:

    I really like it when the chef interacts with me at the sushi bar especially during an omakase. That’s the only way he can cater to my palate. Looks awesome!

  5. betterinbayside says:

    mickey’s is better! review that spot again!

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  1. [...] Hills, but the promise of very good, fresh sushi, is a great enough reason, isn’t it?  Sushi Yasu has to be the best sushi place in my area – I easily rank it up among the Manhattan places in [...]

  2. [...] actually go to Sushi Yasu fairly frequently, but I usually get the same things so I don’t post about it every time [...]



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