Eating on the second floor in Manhattan is always a little disconcerting. It’s as if one of your buddies converted his one bedroom into a restaurant and invited in the public to eat whatever he happens to have in his cupboard. Eating raw fish on the second floor is even more off-putting. It’s not as if the stuff is going to spoil on its long journey from ground level, but you’d hope any joint dealing with deadly bacteria would be able to afford a big enough storefront to house all of its patrons on solid ground. My discomfort with the cramped, altitudinal accommodations aside, my experience here couldn’t have been more enjoyable. When it comes down to it, sushi has to do something truly spectacular to stick out from the crowd. Let me introduce Tenzan’s baby yellowtail. This could be the Kirin Ichibans talking, but a better piece of tail I have never had. Buttery and soft as a newborn’s skull, the stuff practically melted in my mouth. I could almost sense the fish smiling with pride from my stomach it had pleased me so (and, in doing so, had truly honored itself and its baby yellowtail ilk). The rest of the meal was a blur of decent sushi and good rolls, but I will never forget my friend, the baby yellowtail, as long as my colon can take digesting raw seafood and I never see what one of these things looks like whole. [MF]
285 Columbus Ave.