REVIEW #58

Sushi of Gari

Masatoshi “Gari” Sugio enjoys a cult-like following but, unlike most cults, his adherents’ faith is well-placed. He presides over one of the finest Japanese restaurants in NYC, a source of nearly inexhaustible pleasure for sushi lovers. Gari’s flagship location is on the Upper East Side, but there are also outposts of equal quality on the Upper West Side and in Midtown West, the latter of which offers a more serene and upscale atmosphere, and in TriBeCa and in the basement of the Plaza Hotel in Midtown East.

Some of Gari’s cooked dishes are excellent, in particular his signature tempura of lightly deep fried shrimp and vegetables, the steamed crab dumplings, and the Mishima beef, which actually comes from Texas not Mishima Island and is composed of a fatty pan-seared rib eye that is then combined with shimeji, shiitake mushrooms, a chickpea purée and a red miso sauce. But the omakase – a daily selection of the freshest sushi and sashimi – is almost always the correct route. The sushi omakase consists of artful compositions in which each piece of sushi is its own sculptural creation, with miniscule ingredients and embellishments intricately stacked on top. These grace notes enable Gari to be both authentic and innovative – he pays homage to the traditional while also ornamenting and stretching it.  Any meal at Sushi of Gari is incomplete without concluding with the sublime banana bread pudding.

Restaurants like Kurumazushi and Sushi Yasuda are more traditional in orientation, whereas Gari, like Masayoshi Takayama, is a practitioner of the filigree approach to sushi.  Both styles have their place and, in our view, Sushi of Gari is surpassed only by Masa in that approach.  

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INFORMATION

Upper East Side
402 E. 78th St.
New York (nr. First Ave.)
(212) 517-5340
Mon-Sat, 5pm-10:45pm; Sun, 5pm-9:45pm
    Upper West Side
    370 Columbus Avenue
    (between 77th & 78th Streets)
    (212) 362-4816
    Mon, noon-2:15pm, 5pm-10:45pm; Tues-Fri, noon-2:15pm, 5pm-11:15pm; Sat, noon-11:15pm; Sun, noon-9:45pm
      Midtown West
      347 West 46th Street
      (212) 957-0046
      Mon, noon-2:15pm, 5pm-10:45pm; Tues-Thurs, noon-2:15pm, 5pm-11:15pm; Fri, noon-2:15pm, 5:30pm-11:15pm; Sat, 5:30pm-11:15pm; Sun, 5pm-9:45pm
        Midtown East
        The Plaza Hotel, 768 5th Avenue
        (212) 517-5340
        Mon, 5:00pm–10:45 pm; Tues-Sat, 5:00pm–10:15 pm; Sun, 5:00pm–9:45 pm
          TriBeCa
          130 West Broadway
          (212) 285-0130
          Mon-Sat, 5pm-11:15pm
            Masatoshi Sugio, Chef

            OTHER REVIEWS

            RECOMMENDED DISHES See All

            • Red Snapper Salad
            • Omakase
            • Tempura - Lightly Deep Fried Shrimp and Vegetable Served with Tempura Sauce
            • Kani Shumai - Steamed Crab Dumplings
            • Mishima Beef - roasted shallots, tuna, miso sauce, chickpea puree sautéed mushrooms
            • Tempura Fried Ice Cream
            • Banana Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream