04. October 2006 Japanese, Upper West Side 0

370 Columbus Avenue off 78th Street
$130 for two, with three drinks, with tip

I was craving sushi but did not want to go home too late, so I looked for a sushi place around the upper west side. I found Gari on Columbus Avenue with all its Frank Bruni and Food & Wine writeups on the window and I thought, this could be promising. Because we walked in without a reservation, we weren’t able to sit at the bar. I love ordering the omakase only if I can talk to the sushi chef so that I can watch what’s he’s doing. For ten pieces at about $65 (about $75 if you also want sashimi), I opted for the sushi-by-piece instead. This is my only problem with Gari: the price. We started with the octopus ceviche but I only counted four slivers of octopus in my glass bowl; that comes out about $3 a sliver. I ordered the shrimp and crab rolls because it included woodear mushrooms. I needed to take the rolls apart to look for the mushrooms. I know it’s du jour to be all minimalist, but I’m hungry!

The sushi was pretty good. We ordered our usual favorites: fatty tuna, yellowtail, mackerel, smelt roe with quail egg, fluke and shad. The $14 roll of uni, though, was questionnable. It was fresh but it looked like it was whipped so they ended up looking like melted Kraft cheese. Was this a Zen presentation or was it to save on the uni? The damage with two Sapporos and a glass of Prosecco? $130 for two people. I went home and all I wanted was fried chicken. Next time, I’ll stay in midtown and go back to Sushiden.

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You’ll spend less money at Sushiden