Mon-Fri, noon-2:15pm and 6pm-10:15pm; Sat, 6pm-10:15pm; Sun, closed
4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Between the rarified air of Masa and the party-never-stops scene at Sushi Samba is a whole world of sushi dens servicing New Yorkers' raw-fish cravings. The variety and freshness of its food, both raw and cooked, puts Sushi Yasuda in the top ranks of these restaurants. The interior's elegant, clean lines veer toward minimalism, but the bamboo planks that compose the floor, ceiling, bars, and walls of the restaurant are as richly textured to the eye as they are smooth to the touch. You're given three menus upon arrival. The first, printed on paper, lists sushi and sashimi, plus cooked foods and various menu options. The second, on bamboo papyrus, notes the cooked daily specials. The last and most important is the day’s listing of sushi, sashimi, and maki, with chef Naomichi Yasuda's recommendations highlighted in red. The yellow tail portfolio is a study in five parts—hamachi, kanpachi, shimaaji, hiramasa, and warasa, each with subtle differences in texture and flavor. Within the clam (and shellfish) codex are 10 possibilities, all deserving investigation. Preparations are simple. If a fish is enhanced by subtly seasoned rice, it will be served as sushi. If it's best alone, it will be sliced and served as sashimi. Rolls, too, are uncomplicated affairs. Toro, arctic char, sawani (fresh, white sea eel), in, California and spicy tuna rolls, out. Cooked dishes receive no less attention. Pan-fried soft-shell crab is sweet, tender, and succulent, without a trace of grease.Recommended Dishes
Softshell crab, market price; shimaaji, market price (around$4.50/piece); sea urchin, $5/piece; sawani, $5.50/piece