I love my neighborhood for too many reasons to list, good food being one of the top ones… and food good enough for other people to leave their boroughs to visit my neighborhood is definitely included in that. In all fairness, I suppose I sort of coerced DLS to come to Forest 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 terms of freshness – but I hadn’t been since they moved to a larger location on Austin St. closer to the subway and expanded the menu, so I was due for a return visit.
First up: hot edamame, sprinkled with sea salt, fun to squish the beans inside out and into your mouth, a nice light bite to start the meal.
Next up: gyoza that tasted housemade as the frozen ones tend to be shaped slightly differently. Though the one on the end was clearly a little burnt, these were crisp and very tasty. I enjoyed them.
The inside was a little flat but juicy and flavorful.
Then our sushi platter arrived! We’d picked out a bunch of rolls off the menu and added some sashimi. First of course, on the top in the left pic or on the right in the right pic, the Marilyn Mon-roll (basic California roll topped with raw scallop and chef’s sauce, and tobiko) – which they finally renamed, which made me happy (it used to be Marilyn Monroe Roll, which I shortened to Marilyn Monroll because I am HILARIOUS). Then under that or to the left of that, the Yellowstone Roll, which is lightly fried fish, cucumber and chef’s sauce. Toro and scallion in the rolls closest, then some sort of root (I want to say burdock, but that’s not what it was on the menu), and a piece of uni and toro each. Given the choice between $6 or $10 toro, we chose the $10 toro.
I’ve had the Marilyn Monroll several times now, and always enjoy the way the flavors work together. This was DLS’s first time, but he seemed to really enjoy it as well. The Yellowstone Roll, which I hadn’t eaten in the past, was lovely – I really enjoy crunch in my sushi, to contrast the softness of the rice – and I could definitely see ordering that again. The two smaller rolls didn’t appeal to me much, though the toro and scallion roll was better than I’ve had in the past (I really tend to dislike ordering toro in rolls because it’s usually scraps and not very good at that, but the fattiness – to me, the sign of quality toro – definitely was still evident in each bite). I just don’t like the seaweed on the outside because it can be tough to bite through, and this was no exception; I found the seaweed a little chewy.
The uni was very fresh and the perfect bite for me since I love uni. But the toro? I mean, was it worth the $10 a piece?
OH HELL YES. A few things: I love that they HAD the toro, which a lot of places will list on the menu but then tell you they are out if you ask for it. And not only did they have it, they had TWO DIFFERENT KINDS. That speaks volumes to me about the business they intend to do and the business they run. And it was GLORIOUS. Run through with the best possible kind of fat, it literally melted in my mouth as I fought not to moan too loudly. My eyes rolled backwards in my head and I almost cried from how delicious it was. So.freaking.good. Toro like that is a gift to the world; that tuna did NOT die in vain. It brought intense pleasure to my mouth and belly, I was so, so happy after eating that. Joy, pure unbridled joy that not only am I blessed enough to be able to enjoy such lovely things, that I’m able to do so in my own neighborhood. I know not everyone has that luxury!
Surprisingly, DLS wanted to order dessert. Fried green tea ice cream was chosen and it arrived fairly quickly. He seemed surprised that the ice cream was still cold and hard… I mean it was rock hard. It tasted OK – this is not one of my favorite desserts, I usually take a bite or two and then give up eating, so I’ve got very little point of comparison, but I thought it was good enough. A little weird that the exterior wasn’t hot; I sort of expected it to be hot. Maybe they buy it by the box – commercially made fried ice cream – and just took it out and put it on the plate? I suppose that wouldn’t surprise me.
Yvo says: I’d heard that there were service problems in the new expansion, but we encountered no issues – pleasant service and fantastic food as usual. Honestly, the place was shockingly empty, but this was a Monday night, and I think a lot of people are used to Sushi Yasu being closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. I’m glad they’re now open every night of the week, though part of me wants them to open during the day for lunch… and I don’t think their sushi bar was open for seating yet (a few days before Thanksgiving). I will definitely be back, over and over and over again… yum yum yum.
highly recommended – yes, I would even say you should travel from other boroughs to check it out
A week or so after the above visit, I returned with a friend to eat more sushi. Since we ordered all the same things I’ve ordered many times, I didn’t take photos, but at the end, we ordered the green tea flan, which our server informed us was made by a pastry chef ‘from one of the top French restaurants’ – I didn’t ask more questions though. The green tea flan was bitter, balanced with a smooth caramelly sweetness… it was just right, and perfectly sized for sharing a few bites after a sushi dinner that more than filled me up. Yum!
Also, this visit showed me another reason I love going to Sushi Yasu: we sat at the sushi bar, and everyone who works there is so friendly… and kept coming over to tell me how pretty I am. How do you not like a place where people tell you you’re really pretty?! … and has super fresh raw fish. That’s important too. 😉