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Posted by kate and mike on 08/24/2005
This is our first ever negative review. We generally only write about places we like, but Tenzan seems so overrated that we are posting this warning. Tenzan has a smart exterior, good location, and the attitude of a good sushi place -- but it is not. Sushi fish is still pre-sliced (as noted a couple of reviews below), variety is limited, and service is good when available but inconsistent. Sashimi by the piece was fresh sliced and good, but variety limited to the basics. Sushi by piece looks better than it actually tastes -- flavor and texture definitely deteriorates when fish is cut hours earlier. (It probably doesn't matter as much/isn't noticeable in the special rolls, which are popular at Tenzan, because of the various flavorings and such that are added to the rolls.) Presentation is good -- except for our final mishap. After waiting a long time for two salmon skin handrolls (our "dessert") -- head sushi chef had split by 9:45 and two remaining chefs were busying themselves taking care of a couple of delivery orders and cleaning their stations -- the handrolls finally arrived, with loosely wrapped nori so that they were sloppy to handle. (We were seated by 9:10 -- anything but late for neighborhood.) Tenzan is definitely geared for diners arriving 6-8:30(?). They were closing up the place around us by 9:45 (it was a Tuesday evening, supposedly a good night for getting fresh fish). Wait staff also takes an early slide. The one remaining waitress was busy cleaning the service station and setting up tables and bar for tomorrow. At check time she had gone outside, and after a few minutes we went to cashier for check and paying. We are voting with our feet and won't be back.
Posted by Crave on 08/23/2005
The sushi and rolls we tried were very tasty and fresh. The miso soup was also very delicious. It did not look as though the fish was pre-sliced, probably due to us getting there shortly after the restaurant opened. Seating is cramped but it is a nice, clean place. The waitress was very friendly and went out of her way to make sure we were pleased. The prices were fantastic for the quality you got- defintely a plus. Overall a very pleasant experience and I will go back. Highly recommended.
Posted by KKT on 08/15/2005
Great sushi! My sister and I went, had a great bottle of wine and loved the sushi! The rolls were delicious - we actually ordered it as takeout again the next night! Great service, great food - definitely recommend.
Posted by upperwestsider on 08/05/2005
Head sushi chef can be seen pre-slicing the fish, late afternoon before dinner hour. Wish he/they wouldn't do that! It enables the sushi chefs to fill orders quicker, and they do get busy, but I'd rather wait a few minutes longer and get fresh-cut fish. Quality otherwise seems good. Prices are in line, presentation is skillful, service is good, and setting pleasant although a bit cramped. Haven't tested the kitchen on cooked food, but it looks good on other diners' tables. I'm taking the trouble to write because I like this place, but fresh-cut fish would be an improvement. I hope that someone connected to the restaurant reads this -- although these are pros who surely know it detracts from the sushi quality, but have rationalized going this route. They certainly do a good repeat dinner business. (Suddenly I'm uncertain whether they cut the sahimi freshly -- the pre-cut slices don't look large enough. If the sashimi is fresh cut, that's the way I'll go next time and confirm that the difference is tasteable.)
Posted by nyc_visitor on 08/01/2005
We've eaten sushi all across the USA and Japan, and Tenzan's was actually pretty good. The maguro was rich and flavorful, the sake was fresh and firm, and the other varieties were all good. We ordered tempura for our kids (5 & 3), and they devoured it. After tasting a bite myself, I know why. The shrimp were superbly cripsy...and the vegetable pieces were well-chosen and well cooked. Price-wise, we were quite pleased. Tenzan turned out to be about 20% less costly than many other sushi we've eaten in much less costly locales. Overall, a definite winner.
Posted by Anonymous on 07/22/2005
We live right around the corner and absolutely love Tenzan. All of the seafood is amazingly fresh and everything is prepared and presented beautifully. One of the best places for sush, especially on the UWS.
Posted by theskalas on 06/27/2005
Who cares about the sushi, it has the best beers in manhattan ... Sushi was good, but worth going just for the cold beer ... did I mention they have the best cold beers ever known to man?