Mon-Sat, 11:30am-2pm and 5:30pm-10pm; Sun, closed
E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.; 6 at 51st St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
In 1977, Toshihiro Uezu opened this gloriously sceneless temple of toro, which has ignored New York's sushi fads from its perch on the second floor of an unremarkable Midtown building. In this building's tiny, dingy lobby is the rickety elevator that deposits you in Kurumazushi's plain, tranquil room, with a few tables and a small sushi bar. From behind the bar, Chef Uezu tends to high-rolling business types and contemplative cognoscenti with the same quiet intensity, distributing gemlike units of fish and rice, one by one. The menu lists bargain sushi and sashimi combinations and several appetizers, like usuzukuri, fluke cut into translucent rectangles and served with tart ponzu sauce. But the best way to experience Uezu's piscine mastery is to let him choose your meal. Soon after you say omakase, or chef's choice, he might nestle slices of unconscionably fatty tuna sashimi against a pile of seaweed, before moving on to the main event. His delicious warm rice is the platform for fish so pristine and unusual you'll think you're in Tokyo. Depending on the season and the chef's mood, you might sample crab roe, a cluster of many miniscule raw shrimp, and red snapper flown in from Japan. But even common seafood like tuna, yellowtail, and scallop are revelatory here. Unfortunately, there's the bill, which will inspire as many groans as the fish does oohs and aahs.Recommended Dishes
Toro, market price; usuzukuri, $25; omakase, market price