Sitting in Harusame Japanese Cuisine can feel like spending an evening in a friend's living room. Plush fabric drapes from the ceiling, scrolls hang from the walls, and soft light fills the space from overhead lamps. That feeling isn't accidental—the restaurant's goal is to make customers feel like family, though its menu could feed a small army. It includes more than 35 sushi rolls and dozens of ocean-fresh, sashimi-grade cuts of fish served à la carte. To sample the full array of aquatic delights, diners can opt for the all-you-can-eat menu, digging into constantly refilled rolls and appetizers. A BYOB policy rounds out the room's hospitality, allowing patrons to tote along their favorite tipple to sip on thorough their meal.
Honshu Lounge owner and executive sushi chef tucks fresh seafood and veggies into rolls in ways that are pleasing to both the eyes and the tongue. He wraps the Honshu roll—stuffed with yellowtail, avocado, tuna, and salmon—in a sheet of special seaweed that’s marbled with white and green, and sprinkles vibrant-red tobiko onto the White Pearl roll’s pale salmon. Orange dollops of spicy sauce pop against the slices of green avocado that sit atop the Dynamite roll, and the Red Phoenix roll is known to spontaneously burst into flames before re-rolling its shrimp-tempura center.
The interior of the eatery is also infused with pops of color, from the traditional Japanese kimono in golden and violet hues to the blue lights that illuminate the sushi bar. Strings of holiday lights and the occasional mistletoe dangle above tables decorated with stir-fried noodles and steaks glazed in teriyaki sauce.
The windows of skyscrapers form a gossamer chain of lights across the night sky, all arrayed behind diners on the second floor at Teak On The Hudson. The colors that pop against the darkness also leap from golden pineapple adorning tuna tartar with tobiko and emerald spears of asparagus atop scallops and champagne sauce. In the kitchen, chefs play with hues while wrapping soy paper around ruby-hued spicy tuna, yellowtail, and salmon for rolls with creative names such as Teak Loves You. They glide between steaming pots, carrying bok choy, flounder, king crab, and other ingredients from around the world like panicked zookeepers on their first day of work.
As animated as the kitchen is, the decor in Teak’s dining rooms keeps eyes bouncing around with ornate chandeliers that light up tin ceilings. Ornate twirls climb damask-printed curtains pinned back to marbled pillars. Koi fish swirl laconically inside a giant fish tank along the back of the bar, their tank reflecting blue and pink lights and medieval-looking lion-head statues. On the weekend, DJs slowly unleash the pulse of top-40 dance music throughout the eatery and parties up to 1,000 fill the rooms.
The master chefs at Sushi House of Hoboken garnered a 2008 Readers' Choice award from New Jersey Monthly for their flavorful sushi rolls and Japanese-style beef, chicken, and seafood. Diners can pull up seats to the open-air sushi bar, where culinary artisans prep edible care packages such as the red dragon roll, its eel and cucumber drizzled in kabayaki sauce. Thanks to the eatery's BYOB policy, dinner parties can sip personal potables as they share teriyaki beef or hand-feed pellets to the fish sculptures that dot the dining room. Alternatively, guests can feel free to dine on the restaurant's outdoor patio or order takeout to hone chopstick techniques in private.
Under the glow of blue and purple neon lights, Crudo's Caribbean-Italian fusion fare makes its way to diners from the hands of chef Rene Hernandez, settling down alongside cocktails, beer, and wine from the sleek marble bar. Piled-high plates rest calmly atop the white tablecloths that cloak the dining area's wooden tables, and high ceilings provide plenty of head room for building tall towers of salmon piccata, penne alla vodka, grilled skirt steak, and Cuban-style shredded beef. During warmer months, diners nosh beneath hanging lanterns and bright red canopies in an open-air outdoor seating area. The island cuisine also fuels trips to nearby hotspots that include Macy's on 34th Street, Manhattan Center, and Madison Square Garden.
Natural light floods Ko Sushi’s dining room through the restaurant’s windowed façade, glimmering across the blond woodwork, lantern-like pendant lamps, and clusters of thin tree trunks that help to "[one-up] the usual sushi-bar look," according to Time Out New York. Within this casual-and-inviting setting, the chefs put diners at ease by re-creating a handful of Japan's iconic dishes. In addition to forging more than 20 sushi rolls—filled with everything from spicy tuna to sweet potato—the chefs grill chicken yakitori, glaze lobster with teriyaki sauce, and tempura fry batches of shrimp and vegetables. To accompany these meals, the Zagat-rated eatery also features a selection of three sakes that are imported from Japan via carrier pigeon.