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Feeling adventurous? Sushi Yasuda offers delicious lessons in seafood anatomy

"Squid face," says chef Naomichi Yasuda, as he sets down a gnarled, pearly-white piece of sushi. If they frequent enough good sushi places, even buri buffs come across something they've never had before.

At Sushi Yasuda, that's more the rule than the exception.

The restaurant offers unusual fish, like warasa (a wild yellowtail), Russian sea urchin and sayori (needlefish)--all pressed onto perfectly vinegared rice--but its greatest revelations often come from more familiar specimens.

Take squid: Everyone has eaten a slippery slice of squid body, but Yasuda serves its snappy legs, lovably chewy fins and, yep, the face, which has an almost crunchy (though pleasant) texture.

After ordering a study in squid, ask for scallop roe, a pale-red lobe that looks a bit like wax lips. It has the subtle sea sweetness of the shellfish, plus an amazing texture-- somewhere between custardy sea urchin and shrimp sashimi.

Speaking of shrimp, Yasuda also serves its roe--tiny, briny blue eggs that are presented on nori-wrapped rice.

Still not sold? Then start with the restaurant's more mainstream $20 prix fixe lunch--one of the city's best sushi deals--until you work up the courage to venture on.

Sushi Yasuda, 204 E. 43rd St. (between Second and Third aves.); 212-972-1001 or sushiyasuda.com

Sushi Yasuda 204 E. 43rd St. New York NY 10017 212-972-1001

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