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130 St Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
Kura does not have a website, but here’s Yelp

Kura… The super reasonably priced, super close to home sushi-ya, that we never go to. Why? Take a read of my last post from about two years ago. Every time we go to Kura, they razzle and dazzle you with all their tunas. I’m sure that’s their claim to fame, tuna, tuna, tuna, and more tuna. Problem? I am the rare individual that LOVES her tuna, but only in small quantities. I want three cuts of tuna in my omakase, an AKAMI, a CHUTORO, and an OTORO, that’s it. Any more, and I feel like I’m being ripped off from a well rounded omakase. You know what? I say that, but then I love Kanoyama, and Nobu-san likes to do a solid 30-40% of his omakase in whites, and I don’t mind that… Less mercury maybe? Hahahaha! Like I care! I am the last person to watch over things like that. Perhaps I’m just more partial to whites… ANYWAY…

Today proved, the tides are changing! Our visit today was a spectacular surprise of VA-RI-E-TY! Yes, absolutely necessary to enunciate every syllable! I’ve been getting really “creative” with my speech lately. I watch a movie, and I try to talk like them. We meet someone at the bar, and I imitate their accent. I play with words, and emphasize the wrong syllables (Austin Powers style). You string that all together, and you sound like someone that ought to have antennas springing from your forehead! It’s all fun and games, until it carries over during a work meeting. They just don’t get my humor. Omg – I’m such a spaz. I have to stop going on tangents. Just so you know, I’m not like this at work. I can be laser focused, and super professional. This website is my playtime though. It’s where I get to express ME. OK, back to Kura, back to our omakase tonight.

Based on tonight’s omakase, Kura is still serving the low grade MAGURO with the funky slimy mountain yam, SHAKO, the armpit of Shrimps, the over cured, box-pressed SAWARA, and the ruined AWABI with eel sauce. All that said, still worth the trip! Our omakase tonight consists of a total of 5 tuna servings (still more than preferred), but TONS of mollusks (shells) and an even spread of all else, whites, silvers, oranges, yellowtails… Given our deep appreciation of shells, Kura is officially back in the “rotation”! We have a handful of sushi-yas that we go to every week, but the rest, we put in rotation. It used to be where once a wk, we go to the rotation list. But lately, we’re going to the rotation list… maybe… once a month? When you sushi as much as we do, paying minimum of 600 a meal, and yet constantly disappointed, it can be a pretty big deterrent to continue on trying new places, or giving places that’s disappointed you in the past. But like I said, today’s omakase puts Kura back on! Yay Kura!!!

BTW – I should mention… Owner/chef Norihiro Ishizuka wasn’t there tonight. Tonight, we had the pleasure of dining with Yagi-san. He did give us a card, but I can’t find it, sorry, no full name…

Our Omakase tonight:

  1. MAGURO – Served in thick cuts and topped with mashed mountain yam. Why do I never learn?  Actually, I DO learn.  But boyfriend gives me a tough time when I try to list too many “I do not want…” servings, so I limit myself.  I am NOT a fan of mountain yam.  They beat it to this slimy paste, and it is just disgusting.  The texture is just nasty, and there is no flavor!  Why add a nasty sliminess to a dish, if it offers nothing???  After much effort, I wiped off majority of the nastiness, and was able to taste the MAGURO.  The fish itself was just ok.  Slightly fishy.  I wonder if that’s why the put the sliminess on it, distraction.
  2. IKURA (Salmon Roe) – Thank goodness, I needed a palate cleanser! This was yummy.  Big beautiful pearls of IKURA, and very good flavor.  YUM
  3. CHUTORO (Medium Fatty Tuna) – Lovely! No veins, no funkiness, fantastic melt in your mouth goodness.  Great!
  4. MADAI (Seabream) – Really nice! Wonderful fat, nice small cruch.  Only regret, no citrus at all.
  5. HOTATE (Scallop) – From Hokkaido, and served with nori in the center. Very good, very nice hint of the sea, yet not fishy.  Very nice.
  6. Scottish Salmon – Not a fan of this fish, and not a fan of it ABURIed. BLAH
  7. MIRUGAI (Giant claim) – Wonderful! Small hint of sea, lovely citrus topping, wonderfully crunchy texture.
  8. SHIMA AJI (Striped Jack) – Another really great cut. Love the fat and texture of this SHIMA AJI.
  9. KOHADA (Gizzard shad) – Haven’t had a good KOHADA in a while, and this was no exception. Overly fishy, overly vinegary.
  10. SHAKO (Mantis Shrimp) – I specified no SHAKO, thus I had the KOHADA while boyfriend had the SHAKO. SHAKO is the armpit of shrimps.  Always served cooked, and often served with eel sauce (as it was today).  Yuck!
  11. UNI from California – Doesn’t look so pretty, but it was actually really good! Full flavored, very sweet.
  12. NAMADAKO (Live Octopus) – VERY GOOD! Very chewy, but that’s how NAMADAKOs are.  Fantastically rich flavors, hint of sea, but real sweet. 
  13. Box Pressed SAWARA (Mackerel) – This is what happens when you don’t specify the full list of all the things you don’t want. You get stuck with a boxed pressed SAWARA.  100% waste of stomach space!
  14. Arctic Char – Two salmons? Really?  This one was far better than the Scottish Salmon, and decent for a salmon, but please, no more…
  15. KINMEDAI (Golden Eye Snapper) – So fatty, so juicy, ABURIed (torched) exactly the right amount. Delicious!
  16. AKAMI ZUKE (Marinated Lean Tuna) – At first, I thought this was a KATSUO, happy to be wrong. I MUCH prefer AKAMI ZUKEs.  This was very nicely marinated.  YUM!!!
  17. KANI (Crab Claw) – DELICIOUS! Cooked to perfection, the crab meat flakes off, still tender and outrageously juicy.  And topped with the Crab brains?  Perfection!
  18. AJI (Horse Mackerel) – Another super fresh cut. Best of the silvers all night!
  19. OTORO (Super Fatty Tuna) – Ohhhh… this was not nearly as good as the CHUTORO. This one looked real pretty, but there’s some big underlying veins in there.  Crazy chewy. 
  20. UNI from HOKKAIDO – Better than the UNI from Cali. This one had much more sweet nuttiness, more depth.  Yay!
  21. SHIMA AJI, TORO and TAKUAN (pickled radish) handroll – Not sure I understood this combo… I love TAKUAN, I love SHIMA AJI, and I love TORO.  But together?  Just not sure I get it…
  22. AWABI (Abalone) – Braised AWABI served with eel sauce. Generally, other than eel, nothing should be served with eel sauce.  Not feeling it.
  23. MIRUGAI (Giant claim) – REPEAT TIME! Yagi-san didn’t have anything else for us to try, so we’re going back to what was super yum.  Boyfriend chose MIRUGAI, I chose the NAMADAKO.
  24. NAMADAKO (Live Octopus) – Hitting my capacity limit, so moving to sashimi version…

Overall Thoughts: