With a multitude of Japanese restaurants in New York, we wanted an omakase experience for our anniversary. We initially chose Sushi Yasuda, but with no set price and depends on how many pieces you order, we didn’t want a surprise on our bill.
We decided on Tanoshi Sushi and Sake Bar in the Upper East Side. Do note that Tanoshi has two sections: Tanoshi left is the regular service and Tanoshi right is the sushi bar where you get the omakase experience. Tanoshi right is small and narrow; taking only 10 guests at a time. It is a bit hole-in-the-wall looking too; you wouldn’t expect an omakase to be served here.
Reservations are a must and recommend to make it in advance. You can make it online on their website. They have three one-and-a-half hour seating per night and two omakase options, which you have to specify which option you want when making the reservation.
Heading the omakase experience is Chef Toshio Oguma. He specializes in edomae sushi, where the fish is prepared and cured with techniques like simmering in broth or marinating with vinegar and/or salt, etc. Chef Toshio also specializes in “loosey-sushi”, a technique where the sushi is not tightly packed, it is meant to dissemble in your mouth so the texture and flavours blend together. With “loosey-sushi”, it is best and recommended to eat with your fingers; they encourage you to.
In terms of drinks, it is strictly BYOB even though the restaurant has “Sake Bar” in it. So bring your best sake to enjoy with your omakase experience.
We did the Hinoki omakase, which is the expensive one at $90-$99 USD. At the end of the meal you can choose to order a few more pieces at a-la-carte.
Overall, it was an exceptional experience. We had Chef Toshio himself serving us and while he’s a man of a few words, he is serious in his presence and when he’s serving you, he means business — in making sure you’re enjoying every piece of sushi placed in front of you.
Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar
1372 York Ave.
New York, NY 10021