Posted by: adventuressetravels | July 12, 2011

Life-Changing Sushi

I love sushi.  Sushi is actually what  broke me.  It is the reason I started eating fish again after a decade of being a lacto-ovo vegetarian.

Now there are of course, levels of sushi.

Bad Sushi:  I’d have to define bad sushi as the stuff that makes you sick.  Just don’t mess around with bad sushi.

Low-grade Sushi: Generally the stuff you get at the grocery store I’d define as low-grade sushi.  It’s fine for a sushi fix.  California Rolls are popular with the low-grade sushi set as are unagi or eel rolls.  I am partial to unagi rolls myself.

Mid-grade Sushi:  A step up from low-grade.  You can get mid-grade sushi at many nicer restaurants and it is delicious.  It is hard to go wrong with dragon rolls or tender, melt-in-your mouth tuna rolls at mid-grade sushi restaurants.  The more creative rolls are always fun too….

High-grade Sushi: now high grade sushi is a little piece of heaven.  The fish is so fresh you can imagine its daily routine in the ocean.  The itamae, or sushi chef must be skilled in his cuts and, if you are lucky creative.  I love nigiri sushi, little rice pillows with raw fish resting on it.  With high-grade sushi, sushi rolls are not even an option, the fish is center stage.  The fish is the superstar.

To this day, far and away the best sushi I have ever had was at Sushi of Gari.  If you want truly excellent sushi, and an unforgettable meal I highly recommend getting the Chef’s tasting menu there.  Creative, subtle, delectable bites of the most delicious ingredients imaginable.

Trained in Japan, the chef, Gari has been working as an  itamae in New York for over thirty years.  Blending the best of traditional sushi with splashes of creativity and twists, this sushi will not disappoint.    I am not sure I would even categorize Sushi of Gari as high grade sushi, but superlative sushi.  It is life-changing sushi I still dream of that meal.

Sushi of Gari is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at 402 East 78th street                                Their website is:

Last night I had another fantastic meal of truly high grade sushi.  A good friend took me to an excellent restaurant called Restaurant Nippon.  The traditional Japanese layout breathes understated elegance.  From the bamboo, to the back room that special customers must remove their shoes to enter, it is lovely.

On the waitress’ recommendation, I ordered the Sushi Edo-Mae, 10 pieces of nigiri sushi.  When the waitress highly recommends a dish, especially at a sushi restaurant, I am inclined to get it.

I sipped my sweet-light sake waiting for the delectable pieces of fish to arrive.  When our waitress, an older Japanese woman set the platter down in front of me I could see that she had given me a good recommendation.  When I took the first bite I was certain of it.

The buttery-sweet shrimp was draped over its sushi rice pillow.  One bite and I was in heaven, actually having to close my eyes to fully enjoy every iota of the experience.

I wish that I were better-versed in raw fish, but what I believe was the octopus melted over my tongue, wrapping each of my taste buds in a wash of flavorful delectability.  Savoring the texture, flavor, and experience, once again I shut my eyes, devoting all of my senses to this superb piece of sushi.

So fresh it practically danced in my mouth, the symphony of flavor the tuna created  in my mouth was unbelievable.  Each piece of sushi was better than the last, and I savored each grain of rice hoping the dinner would never end.

Restaurant Nippon is located in Midtown Manhattan on 155 East 52nd street.                                            Their website is:

As much as I love high-grade sushi, I sadly have not had many opportunities to eat it.  I hope that this is soon to change.

Someday I dream of trying blowfish sushi…

the Omakase (chef's selection) at Japonica, mid to high-grade sushi in New York located at 100 University Place


  1. Then there are sushi bars, with a revolving bed of ice loaded with goodies. Where do they fit in your scheme of things?

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