Dining

Kura is a secret NYC sushi spot in the East Village

The hidden (and delicious) ways of Kura
Tasting Table: Kura Slide Show
Squid stuffed with rice and more squid

Kura's East Village space may be Lilliputian and dim, but the post-dinner high it induces looms large and light.

To find the restaurant, which has been flying under the radar since its February opening, duck under the scaffolding where St. Mark's Place kisses Tompkins Square Park. Look for blue-and-white fabric rippling in the doorway.

Inside, you'll discover a windowless hush and intimate minimalism at a single four-seat table, and the 12-seat bar.

Jolly Norihiro Ishizuka is behind the counter, offering two staggeringly reasonable, $65 omakase menus: 10 pieces of sushi and a hand roll, or a kappo selection of six cooked dishes, four pieces of sushi and one hand roll.

On a recent visit, we ate glistening pieces of chutoro, and an egg custard--perfectly rich and jiggly in scope.

Hand rolls are loosely insouciant, barely containing the warm grains of rice inside. A cherry-blossom leaf envelopes whitefish, with an arrowroot broth ladled over the top.

Caught up in each course, we felt flattened with the meal's abrupt ending. Green tea ice cream, the only dessert offered, didn't fit the night's tempo.

No matter: Our memory of this radiant Japanese spot is profoundly sweet.

  • Tasing Table: Kura

    Chef Norihiro Ishizuka of Kura has been practicing his craft since he was 13 years old. He has now been a sushi chef for more than 55 years.

  • Tasing Table: Kura

    Chef Ishizuka shows off a slab of tuna, shipped directly from Japan.

  • Tasing Table: Kura

    The tools of the trade

  • Tasing Table: Kura

    You could be on the receiving end of this plate (and this smile).

  • Tasing Table: Kura

    The finished squid dish

  • 1/5
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Kura 130 St Mark's Pl. New York NY 10003 212-228-1010
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