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Posted by Anonymous on 11/03/2005
Make sure to sit at the bar and order Chef's Special. The most amazing sushi in the city. Gari is great and his sushi is unique. The experience is by no means cheap, especially since you don't really see the cost before you order. Given small size of the restaurant and demand, it's not surprising that waiting is part of the experience. We were 40 minutes late in being seated (we insisted on sushi bar), but wait staff was apologetic and offered us complimentary wine with dinner.
Posted by Anonymous on 10/05/2005
In a part of the city that is starved for good Japanese this does not fit the bill. The sushi is creative and interesting, but it is more fusion than authentic. The room is very crowded and the staff at the door is generally rude and unfriendly and does not understand that people make reservations for the time they would like to eat. I have been several times (with friends who wanted to go, much to my dismay) and it seems that the more popular the place becomes, the worse the food and service are.
Posted by nuri on 09/26/2005
Forget what you know about sushi, just go sit at the sushi bar and get the "Omakase" which literally means "put your trust in the Chef". Don't order from the menu, don't get anything else, just sit at the bar and trust the chef! That's what my wife and I did and we were blown away by the delicate and savory creations that landed in front of us. As the chef gently places one piece of sushi at a time on your plate you are given the time to fully realize the incredible and unique flavor that each piece of sushi delivers. Topped with exquisite accents, seasoned with special sauces, each piece is built to augment or complement the smooth buttery taste of raw fish. Nothing the chef prepared for us came drenched in spicy mayo, not even a single drop, all the sauces were distinctive. The anticipation of what the chef will create next was almost as sweet as the creations themselves. With Omakase each piece is $7 so take your time and enjoy each one, it's very easy to loose track of how many you have ate, you don't want the bill to be the rude awakening to your sushi experience. We stopped at 10 pieces and since we were only given one piece at a time, with a pause in between for the next piece to be prepared, we found that we were quite satisfied by the time we ate the 10th piece. Our waitress was very friendly and she gave us great service. The decor is nothing to write home about and the space is cramped, if you can?t enjoy your meal with out those things than don't go. If you only want traditional sushi, than go some place where they slap the most expensive cut of fish they can find on a ball of rice. I'll bet it will taste like a good piece of raw fish, which in my mind really has nothing to do with the chef and more to do with the fish. If that is all you are after then you might consider parking yourself next to a couple of bears the next time you find a salmon stream. Personally I prefer the intervention of a master and his effort to turn that fish into something new. I love quality and quantity and wolfing down a boat full of rolls and sashimi has its place but it can never come close to this experience. Don't go there, order a bunch rolls and leave, your really missing out on some great food, also, don't sit at the sushi bar and pick apart the sushi the chef has created for you and start dipping it in soy sauce like the clown next to us.
Posted by Mochi on 09/22/2005
While The Henderson?s review is interesting, since Gari serves non-traditional sushi, I?m not certain if comparison with Yasuda, Nobu, Masa is valid. Gari?s sushi is certainly innovative & creative, but their overuse of sauce is distracting the real taste of the seafood. That said, this is one of the better (but not the best) sushi place in NY. BTW, there are excellent sushi places other than Yasuda, Masa, etc. I just cannot disclose it ? because if I do that other sushi aficionados will assassinate me.
Posted by The Henderson on 08/30/2005
Ask anyone for their favorite sushi place, and you tend to get the same responses: Yasuda, Nobu, Jewel Bako, Masa, (if you have a massive expense account and no conscience). And while all those places are excellent choices, they tend to reveal more about the person eating there than the food that is actually being served. And that brings us to a universal truth about sushi that few are willing to accept: much like vodka, expensive sushi more or less tastes the same. I mean, how much more buttery is Nobu?s tuna than Yasuda?s? Not much, as I?ve had them both and they are both very good. Perhaps the more salient question is, how much better is Nobu?s tuna than say, Haru?s or even Yama?s. That is a harder question, but judging by the menu, about $6 better per piece, or about $50 per person for a whole meal. Enter Sushi of Gari. Its fish is just as fresh as the others, but unlike it high priced brethren, Sushi of Gari's food is ten times more inventive, and that is something anyone (sushi aficionados or first time sushi tasters) can instantly sense. Take for instance the grilled torro sushi, expertly cooked, it is as soft and smooth as anything one could ever hope to find. The slight charring offers texture and weight to what is otherwise an impossibly light and smooth piece of sushi. There is also the torro and pickled radish, which is ground up torro and radish that is mixed together and placed on a nugget of rice. The pickled radish sharpens the taste of the torro and brings out flavors in the fish that is completely new and refreshing. I could go on, but the point is Sushi of Gari serves more than wonderfully fresh food; they serve wonderfully inventive sushi that is tastier and more distinct than any other sushi place, or any other kind of food for that matter, in the city. A real treat for true foodies.
Posted by Dan on 08/25/2005
That's because they don't have "innovative rolls," they are not good? Gari's sushi is innovative and tasty while other restaurants fail to make such sushi by using too much supicy mayo for every roll, which is disgusting. And their sushi piece are in traditional size: Japanese puts more importance on quality than quantity. Indeed, quantity often kills quality. If you get what it means, you will appreciate even more traditional Japanese food.
Posted by Anonymous on 08/23/2005
I first went here for my birthday a few years back and got the Gari Special, which was unreal. It is definitely pricey and definitely should be saved for a special occasion but I have never seen or tasted anything like it! Very creative and not to be matched! Everything else on the menu is reasonably priced considering the stature of this restaurant, and delicious. A favorite is the fried oyster roll. The place is very small but comfortable enough as long as you don't mind the NYC-sitting-on-top-of-people feel, as most sushi restaurants are in the city. Enjoy!