357 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10014
How many times have you heard people claiming they are going to leave the states if Trump gets elected? How many of them actually left? I know one! Chef Sotohiro Kosugi of one of my most favored sushi-yas, Soto. We last visited him back in September 2016, when he claimed he would. I can’t believe he actually did! We came back from our Hong Kong/Tokyo trip back in January, and he was gone! Craziness!
Swiftly taking over Soto’s place? Sushi Katsuei, a long time Brooklyn favorite. I’ve actually never been to Katsuei’s Brooklyn location, it’s too far, so no insights to share there.
How Sushi Katsuei compares with Soto? That I can share!
- Food – Sushi Katuei is definitely a solid sushi-ya. Soto was one of my all-time favorites though, so those are some huge shoes to fill. I hate to compare, but if you’re going to move into a beloved restaurant’s location, you know it’s coming. When it comes to the fish, the preparation, if Soto is a 10, Katsuei is a good 7.5, borderline 8. Sorry Katsuei!
- Service – You win Sushi Katsuei! Soto’s wait staff was a bunch of uppity jerks. You guys are attentive, warm and friendly. Nice!
- Cost – Again, Sushi Katsuei, you win! Soto’s pricing was fair, but comparatively, you are a steal!
- Head chef – Chef Soto was amazing, but he was a no-nonsense, no-drinks, couldn’t crack a smile for the life of him, chef. Chef Ta-ke of Katsuei is a character, he had something to say about every single restaurant he worked at. Not good things. It’s fun to see him so riled up though. Is that sick of me?
We decided for the Sushi and Sashimi Omakase:
- Local sea bass – Huge fan of sea basses, but this one was a bit fattier than preferred, and slightly fishy…
- Sawara (Japanese smoked mackerel) – Decent for a SAWARA, but really not my fish of choice
- AOYAGI (surf clam) – When having clams, I really prefer the tail part of clams, the part with the crunch, as opposed to the muscle part… This one was FISHY!
- Washington State oyster – Not bad, but nothing to write home about…
- CHUTORO (Medium fatty Tuna) – Very veiny, very chewy.
- MADAI (Seabream) – Dressed with a piece of SHISO and topped with a small squeeze of YUZU and sea salt. First truly decent piece!
- HAMACHI (young yellowtail) with SHISHITO (Japanese sweet pepper) – Really not a fan of such a common fish that you can get at ANY restaurant that doesn’t even have to specialize in sushi. BUT the SHISHITO topping, that did it! This is why having a creative sushi chef really matters. This was a very good piece.
- Wild Alaskan sockeye pink salmon – Served with a crispy cooked seaweed. I’m not a fan of sockeye pink salmon, I prefer plain old Alaskan farm raised salmon. J Boyfriend thought this was great though.
- KAMASU (Barracuda) – With the skin heavily ABURIed (torched) this was delish! Always love me a good KAMASU!
- Wild premium caught AJI (Japanese Horse Mackerel) – Never understood the “premium” classification concept. How do we do this determination? Yummy, just not a fan of the hyper classification.
- SHIMA AJI (Jack Mackerel) – This SHIMA AJI was wonderfully fresh, and beautifully crunchy. It was topped with more of that lovely SHISHITO Pepper. Yummmm
- OTORO (Super fatty Tuna) – Very veiny, very chewy, but at least no funky aftertaste.
- HOKKAIDO UNI – mediocre
- NODOGURO (Black throat) – Topped with more SHISHITO Pepper. This was FANTASTIC, I have zero complaints.
- ISHIDAI (Barred Knifejaw) – Served with a plum paste and sesame seeds. I have been so happy with Chef Ta-ke’s dressings that I stopped my usual two bites. That plum paste was so bad. Completely overpowered the otherwise tasty fish!
- BOTAN EBI (Spotted sweet shrimp) with ABURIed (torched) UNI – Pretty and yummy! Funny how everything ABURIed taste better…
- King Salmon – Slightly ABURIed and topped with sea salt
- NODOGURO (Black throat) – Round 2, and equally as delicious as round 1.
- MIRUGAI (Giant clam) – This had an amazing crunch, but a much stronger than usual taste of the sea, in other words, fishy!
- HOTATE (Scallop) – I did not try it, but boyfriend claims it was very good.
- Chopped Toro with TAKUAN and Sesame seeds – Not a fan of the sesame seeds, but still very good.