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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!