So much sushi in New York City! From $20 all-you-can-eat East Village joints to out-of-this-world omakases on months-long waitlists, NYC offers infinite options for sushi lovers. One recently-discovered favorite of mine has been Sushi Yasaka in the Upper West Side, much due to head sushi chef Yoshi’s elegant traditional omakase.
Chef Yoshi has dazzled neighborhood regulars with his traditional-style sushi for years before I first discovered his omakase. Since then, each dining experience with Chef Yoshi has been full of memorable moments, from sea eel that tasted and felt like a melting cloud of flavor to the fattiest tuna with the perfect drizzle and garnish.
In addition to the remarkable omakase, which is one of the most affordable in the city for such high quality sushi, Sushi Yasaka also offers an impressive range of authentic and truly interesting takes on traditional Japanese cuisine. The tempura plate at Sushi Yasaka, which is paired with three different flavors of house-made salts, is the most innovative and fun tempura I’ve ever enjoyed, not to mention simply beautiful!
Above all, my favorite experience at Sushi Yasaka has been watching Chef Yoshi’s meticulous yet effortless preparation of sushi, each piece of which is made with great care and passion.
This weekend was Chef Yoshi’s last at Sushi Yasaka. As new management moves in with changes to the menu, Chef Yoshi decided to part ways with the restaurant to preserve his professional integrity and dedication to traditional-style sushi. As expected, his departure is much to the devastation of Sushi Yasaka regulars, and the sushi bar was packed this weekend with Chef Yoshi’s greatest fans.
When asked what he planned to do next, Chef Yoshi said, “No wife, no kids, just me. Take a plane….” Selfishly, I hope Chef Yoshi will quickly find himself at another local eatery fortunate enough to have him and his talents. Thank you for your great care and attention, Chef Yoshi! It has been so very delicious.