Visited in May 2017
75 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
When you go for a sushi meal inside a supermarket, although a specialty seafood one, but still a supermarket, you know what you are signing up for. It’s going to be cold, noisy, and congested. There will be tons of people walking by, and some even brushing up against you. Coat check? Negative. If you want to use the potty? Go stand on the line outside! It’s a sushi bar in the middle of the market, it is what it is.
We wanted to go for sushi on a Monday night. Despite what chefs tell you, there is a definitive and noticeable difference when you go for sushi on Mondays. There’s a reason why so many sushi-yas pick that day, to be the one day they close! You may not notice it if you go to different restaurants all the time, but test out my claim with your favorite sushi-ya. Make multiple visits, back to back or skipping a day here and there, Monday included. You will very quickly see what I am talking about.
We have been wanting to give the Lobster Place a try for some time now. Today, we thought, what better than a Monday? If it sucks, we can go to the oyster counter and get oysters/claims/shrimp/crab cocktails, or go to the lobster stand in the far back, and have fresh steamed lobsters or a lobster roll, or go to the far right stand in the back and get a soup or sandwich. There’s a wide safety net!
There were a few omakase options:
- $40 – 8 piece sushi, and one roll
- $50 – 4 piece sushi, 8 piece sashimi, and one roll
- $54 – 15 piece sashimi
- $70 – Soup, Appetizer, 12 piece sushi, and one hand roll, served traditional omakase style, piece by piece
We chose the “Traditional Omakase” of course:
- TORO Takaki Appetizer – Takaki is supposed to be seared, this was 100% cooked. That aside, the platter still was no good. The onions were much too strong, substantially overpowering the fish. And they STILL thought they needed to top it off with scallions? What a fail!
- Live HOTATE (Scallop) served with a very small sliver of SHISO – This method of HOTATE slicing is so pretty, but it also means it’s a much smaller scallop – think abt it, you really can’t slice a super large HOTATE like this.
- HAMACHI-SUNAZURI (young yellowtail belly) – Served with chopped jalapeño. This was good, very good. But really? Chopped jalapeño? You couldn’t even take the time to slice it nice and thin for me?
- MADAI (Seabream) – Served with a small squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of sea salt. Not enough salt, but still very good!
- Salmon Belly – Very interesting! Chef squeeze a dollop of mayo, and THEN ABURIed (torched) it. Surprising that the mayo didn’t just melt into a messy pile of goo! It was ok…
- IWANA (Arctic char) – Way better! Sometimes I prefer when Chef keeps the fish families grouped/sequenced, but today, not so much. I wasn’t thrilled with the Salmon Belly ABURIed, but now that I had the IWANA, I’m really unhappy with the Salmon Belly ABURIed. The IWANA really puts that one to shame…
- King Salmon (organic) – I think it’s funny when Chef tells us a fish is Organic. What does that even mean? It’s farm raised… and what else?? Of the salmon grouping, I only like the IWANA.
- MIRUGAI (Giant Clam) – First outstanding piece of the night! Scary that this is the 8th piece though. This piece had a beautiful crunch with zero fishiness!
- Steamed AWABI (Abalone) – I politely smiled and said thank you, but this was PITIFUL! Not tasty, and rubbery (not chewy, there is a difference)!
- KAMPACHI (Amberjack) – A good piece of KAMPACHI has a nice crunch, a slight gumminess, and zero fishiness. This one had no crunch, no gum, but no fishiness. It was another good piece, but nothing stellar.
- IWASHI (Japanese Sardine) – I don’t know why, but Chef called this an AJI. This was clearly an IWASHI though. Very good!
- OTORO – Served with an ok caviar, and a very good cut of OTORO, no veins, no chew, no fishiness, no funky aftertaste. This was good.
- MAINE UNI – Another surprisingly good piece. What’s the deal? He saved the best for last?
- NEGITORO (chopped TORO with Scallions) – The twist was BONITO flakes. Not sure if you can tell from this photo, but this was a ginormous hand roll. My hands are small, but they aren’t that small! This was good!
- BOTAN EBI (Spotted sweet shrimp) – NO ONE is full from 12 pieces, so we attempted to order extras. The ONLY thing we have not tried is BOTAN EBI. That is sad. And it wasn’t even live! They did have some live, but sold out very early on. This was ok…
For the price, this was a solid meal. Would I come back? Only on a non-Monday so I can do a better comparison. Based on the food/cost alone, I don’t think the savings is worth the quality cut…