Many of our friends have stated that Sushi Yasuda is the best place to go in NYC for sushi and sashimi. However, like with most high-end sushi places, the bill can end up running a few hundred dollars. Luckily, Sushi Yasuda offers a few fixed price lunch options ($19.50-$24.50) that don't break the bank.
The best seats in the house have the be at the sushi bar (which can be requested when you make your reservation). Even from our corner table, we could see the fast knife skills of the sushi chefs. If we were going to order the "omakase" (i.e. letting the chef give us whatever he wanted), we would definitely sit at the bar.
We had the choice of ara jiru, ushio, or a small salad with our Fixed Price lunch. After going through the menu to figure out what these options were, we opted for the Shinshu miso with fish bone stock (ara jiru, bottom photos) and clear fish broth (ushio, top photos). If you like the taste of fish, you'll enjoy the light fish broth. The miso soup was warm and familiar.
We both opted for the Sushi and Sashimi Combination lunch ($22.50, or $24.50 with dessert). Unfortunately, we couldn't choose our sashimi pieces. We were given tuna (sweet and buttery), striped bass (very mild in flavor), and our favorite of the three, Spanish mackerel (thick, soft and melted in our mouths).
We did have the option to choose our sushi and roll (from an abbreviated menu). My husband opted for a Tuna roll and sushi pieces of Tuna, Fluke, Sea Trout, and Squid. Though everything was fresh, his favorite piece was the squid because it was salty and flavorful.
I chose the White King Salmon roll and sushi pieces of Yellowtail, Salmon, Sea Scallop, and Freshwater Eel. The best sushi piece I ever had was the sea scallop - it was fresh, sweet, and had a hint of the ocean. I also enjoyed the rich, fatty freshwater eel. My husband and I both enjoyed the White King salmon roll because it was a nice change from regular salmon and had a rich, creamy, delicate taste. To us, the sushi rice (the best I've ever eaten) shines as brightly as the fresh seafood. It had a subtly sweet taste, with a soft and sticky texture.
To end the meal, I opted for the Green Tea mochi ice cream. Lightly dusted with powdered green tea, the dessert was simple and I liked the home-made ice cream. Though nothing out of the ordinary, I thought its clean and cool taste was the perfect way to end our meal (and it was only $2).
Overall, we thought that the fixed price lunch was a great introduction to Sushi Yasuda. We had a few extraordinary pieces at an affordable price. The next time we would supplement our meal with a couple of unique pieces from the regular menu as well.
Sushi Yasuda is located at 204 E 43rd St (btwn 2nd and 3rd Aves) in NYC. The fixed price lunch is available Mon-Fri and reservations are recommended.