Guy Vaknin is enjoying a downsizing of the best sort.
After overseeing a 5,000-square-foot-kitchen, 30 cooks and 10 weddings a night at his family’s catering company, he has shifted his focus to one food: made-to-order vegetarian sushi.
At his new East Village storefront, Beyond Sushi, vegetables shove fish out of the limelight.
The eight exquisite rolls ($6.50 for eight pieces) are far from gimmicky. A marinated and seasoned black rice or a custom six-grain rice composed of short-grain brown rice, red rice, long-grain brown rice, black rice, purple barley, huskless barley and rye berries are the rolls’ base.
Building from there, vegetables, fruits and tofu are wrapped and rolled into the rice in an exquisite riot. The Sweet Tree uses a filling of avocado and sweet potato sticks, and La Fiesta encompasses avocado, pickled jalapeño and chayote, with a delicate cilantro-leaf wrapper.
The nigiri-like individual pieces are an exercise in classy minimalism: A bundle of enoki mushrooms or two snow peas tented and tied over a thimble of rice ($1 each).
This is sushi everyone can admire.
Beyond Sushi, 229 E. 14th St. (between Second and Third aves.); 646-861-2889 or beyondsushinyc.com