1372 York Ave (between 73rd and 74th St, UES)
Fatty Kat Eats: EVERYTHING OMAKASE, Triple X, Salmon Carpaccio, Creamy Scallop Sashimi, Ankimo, Uni and Botan Ebi
Stop licking the screen! I see you, you uni pervert you... You might want to read this in the privacy of your own home, because it's going to get a little dirty; and by dirty, we mean delicious. Tanoshi serves a ridiculous omakase for $65 . I don't understand how customers get away with paying so little for such damn good fish. They do get you with the appetizers and a la carte offerings at the beginning and end of the meal (still very reasonably priced). If you walked by this restaurant, you would assume it's just another cheap sushi spot in the UES by the looks of it. Wrong!
We started with a couple appetizers which were all so unique and so @#$*&#$ divine. Really, I haven't had food like this in a while, so pure and innately good. (L-R, top to bottom):
- Salmon Carpaccio (New Zealand): The richest salmon to ever swim in my mouth.
- Creamy Scallop Sashimi: Incredibly sweet and delicate, one of my favorite things of the night (but I'm going to say that about everything).
- Ankimo: Seriously, "foie gras of the sea."
And then came the omakase! (L-R, top - bottom):
- Fluke cured with kelp and shiso: Felt like I was chewing Elmer's glue in 1st grade again. Easily my least favorite fish of the night and the only one I've ever not enjoyed at Tanoshi.
- Salmon Belly (lightly seared): Unbelievably rich like Bill Gates. Also, I can't believe it's not butter.
- Wild Albacore with wasabi: A hearty fish with a solid kick.
- Botan Ebi (jumbo sweet shrimp): Love at first bite! Gummy in the best way possible.
(L-R, top - bottom):
- Wild Jack Mackerel with ginger and scallions: A little fishier than I can appreciate but still insanely good.
- Salmon Roe: Um, hello?! This is self-explanatory...an oily and decadent treat for sushi lovers.
- Poached Scallop (hotate): I could not believe this thing was poached. What did they poach it in? Butter? Liquid gold?
- Double X (quail egg and Santa Barbara uni): For all you uni perverts out there, this is just a warm up and it's already a 10 out of 10 on my fatty scale.
(L-R, top - bottom):
- Anago (sea eel): Deliciously cooked with a lighter version of that sweet sauce everybody likes with their unagi.
- Spicy Tuna Roll with avocado: For me, the freshly roasted seaweed was a game changer. This tuna is real tuna, not the mushed up stuff you find in most places.
- Super Maki: All the goodies wrapped in one package. This takes a few bites for anyone to take down, so don't get too ambitious and shove the whole thing in your mouth.
- Uni and Botan Ebi (a la carte): This is not a joke. This combination actually exists. Sushi soulmates.
For all you uni perverts out there, feel free to lock yourself in a room right now to make love to this picture. This is the Triple X made of Santa Barbara uni, a quail egg and salmon roe. This is next level sushi and the ultimate shrine for uni lovers. You can only order it a la carte!
A few action shots (L-R, top - bottom):
- Rachel (apprentice) and Chef Oguma (the man)
- Because you can only taste something if you squeeze your eyes shut. #foochebag
- The birth of the Triple X.
There's very little I can say that these pictures don't say already. While Tanoshi is the working man's omakase spot (i.e. @yimbabwe, @jessthing and Tiff), Sushi Nakazawa is on an entirely different level of service, environment, pricing, ambience...you name it. These restaurants are very different but similar in that both really care about the quality of the fish. Nakazawa isn't all that expensive because you're getting 20ish pieces vs. the 11ish pieces at Tanoshi. However, I'll gladly to stick with Tanoshi due to my leaky piggy bank. Good news, Tanoshi is BYOB.
After 2 visits, I think I can safely call myself a Tanoshi groupie...and I have a couple reservations lined up in the future. If, by a miracle, you get someone on the phone to take your reservation, you'll likely get a 5pm on a Monday night in late November. So your best bet is to physically get your ass to 73rd and York Ave and make it in person. Also, here's a very important tip: don't go inside the restaurant before your reservation. They will call you when they're ready. Otherwise, you'll get yelled at by the scary Chef Oguma and you don't want that. Even Eric Ripert has to wait.