Sushi Yasaka


By Dane Feldman

Photos by Dane Feldman.

Few sushi spots uphold a reputation the way Sushi Yasaka does. The West 72 Street restaurant boasts waits up to and over an hour on weekend nights, which is typically unheard of for sushi. I first stumbled upon it a few months ago, but the wait was so long I decided to head elsewhere. After obtaining a reservation for last weekend, I was able to finally check it out.

The food
When I say the fish at Sushi Yasaka is fresh, it is a complete and utter understatement. This restaurant serves pure, unadulterated fish; you won’t find special rolls here. The restaurant has four and a half stars for good reason, and that reason is its remarkable, but simple fish.
Yaki salmon donburi.

Instead, I went for the plain tuna roll, eel avocado, and a yaki salmon donburi (fresh salmon, avocado, and fish roe atop a bed of rice) to share with one other. After scarfing it down, we ordered a spicy salmon roll and a second tuna roll.

Aside from sushi, Yasaka also serves sushi appetizers, kitchen appetizers, salad, soup, a variety of soba and udon noodles, tempura, teriyaki, steak, and even dessert. Of course, these are all viable options, but truth be told people really come to Yasaka for the sushi.

The drinks
Sushi Yasaka serves sake, beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as tea and soft drinks. This time around, I didn’t order anything to drink, but it’s only a matter of time before I return to Sushi Yasaka for more donburi and a cocktail or two.

The service/ambience
Luckily, Sushi Yasaka owns a pretty large space, but the noise level is fairly high because of how large the waiting crowd is. Still, despite how busy this restaurant is, the wait staff is friendly and attentive.

This place serves some of the best quality fish I’ve had in my life, if not the very best. It’s surprisingly affordable and well worth returning to, so long as I have a reservation.

The absolute reality of the matter is that there are hundreds of sushi places in New York, so any time a place like Sushi Yasaka consistently garners this much attention, it’s almost necessary to check it out. I came here on a recommendation and was certainly not undersold. After hearing constant raving, I knew I had to try it and I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

All in all, Sushi Yasaki boasts a beautiful space, solid service, and melt-in-your-mouth sushi.