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.
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.
EN's izakaya dining brings the tapas-style menus of rustic Japan 119º14' around the globular orb to NYC, featuring undeniably fresh ingredients such as authentic wagyu beef from Kagoshima, live eels from Shizuoka, and house-made tofu and sauces. Appoint your face ambassador to Kyoto with an o-banzai appetizer of buta bara to renkon no kinpira, braised, thin-sliced pork belly with lotus root ($6, or $15 for three). Bean fanatics will frolic with delight among the hills of EN's handmade tofu, pressed nightly in-house; try the goma dofu age dashi for confirmation (sesame-seasoned tofu lightly fried in savory, house-made dashi broth with a variety of Japanese mushrooms, $13). Fish gets no fresher than EN's unagino shirayaki, eel flown from Japan daily and grilled in traditional fashion ($30). For fare that flies itself, opt for a sautéed Hudson valley duck breast, crisped to crispiness and served with grated daikon in ponzu sauce ($22), or enhance a dining experience with the interactive kuroge washugyu yaki shabu, thinly sliced Japanese Black Angus short ribs served with a hot stone for grilling ($35).
Kumo Sushi’s newly minted location on Bleecker Street offsets its storied counterpart on the east side of Greenwich Village. Market-fresh, high-end ingredients anchor a diverse menu that balances curries with specialty hand and maki rolls served seven days a week. Chokos brimming with sake chase chopsticks that spear seafood dishes such as diver sea scallops and fillet of Spanish shipwreck.
Ido Sushi owner and chef Tora Yi marries edible and aural art by pairing inventive sushi and sashimi dishes alongside live piano and opera performances, building an atmosphere that the New York Times described as “Cheers – dunked in the melting pot.” Like Genghis Khan’s personal Mongolian barbecue, the dining area is ornamented with wall-mounted swords that gleam under soft lighting. Sushi chefs carve fresh salmon, tuna, and vegetables before rolling them on planks behind an open-air bar. Between bites and sing-along sessions, bartenders sling sake, draft beers, and mixed drinks.
Teppan Bar & Grill's owner and chef cut his culinary teeth in Japan, and then practiced as a sushi chef in Manhattan. His talents pervade the kitchen, which prepares fresh cuts of filet mignon, lobster tails, and Chilean sea bass. To promote aesthetic appeal, the decor in which he and his team operate features large, clean windows and absolutely no waiters dressed as clowns. Within, an upscale atmosphere spreads across two stories, where plush leather bar seats provide up-close views to sushi making and drink mixing. In the dining area, the same seats offer access to table-embedded grills, while outside, cars sit idly in the restaurant's free parking area.
Sushi Mambo's exterior, with its wooden panels and Japanese-style sloping eaves, evokes the rustic charm of an Edo-era highway inn or the comfortable elegance of a samurai's man cave. Guests dine on artfully arranged maki lined with yellowtail, salmon, and eel or savor the tastes of miso ramen soup or bowls of chicken udon. Specialty rolls combine the complimentary flavors and textures of crunchy tempura chicken, creamy avocado, and spicy sauces, and sashimi plates arrange delicate slices of salmon or tender tuna onto colorful plates of greens, lemons, and carved carrot flowers. The restaurant was also featured on the TV series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."