I made a reservation here hoping to have Chef Ishizuka serve me. Unfortunately, he was busy tending to a large party that night. Hopefully I'll have the pleasure next time. The long wooden sushi bar in a small space made for a nice intimate ambiance. I enjoyed almost every piece of sushi. A couple were less memorable. Chef Ishizuka handed me his business card with a smile. Hope to see you again soon!
Capturing live spotted shrimps under the watchful eyes of ChefNorihiroIshizuka during our exquisite omakase dinner at Kura. Thanks annegrrrll for this shot! Always fun dining with you and the foodie crew nycfattykat mattbruck mzneener jojo_son! omakase nycsushi nycfood nyceats eeeeeats eastvillage foodpornographer foodphotography instamood
Alive and jumping Butan Ebi, aka spotted Shrimp or spotted prawns at Kura. They were soon transformed into delectable pieces of sweet sushi and their heads fried into crispy tempura by the Master ChefNorihiroIshizuka. Another favorite course at our omakase dinner with nycfattykat jojo_son annegrrrll mzneener mattbruck. KuraSushi KuraNYC sushi omakase butanebi spottedshrimp spottedprawns Shrimp nycsushi nycfood nyceats eeeeeats eastvillage foodvideo igvideo foodporn instamood feastwithfriends howisummer
Superb sushi omakase at Kura by Taisho ChefNorihiroIshizuka! I tried several times to get a video of him using the blowtorch and on the third try I finally got him searing this Sea Eel. Though I think he got me too! Fab dinner with nycfattykat jojo_son annegrrrll mzneener mattbruck! KuraSushi KuraNYC sushi omakase nycsushi nycfood nyceats eeeeeats eastvillage video foodvideo igvideo foodporn instamood feastwithfriends howisummer
Luscious Hokkaido Uni at Kura by ChefNorihiroIshizuka! Brinier with more minerality than Santa Barbara but still divinely delicious! Outstanding omakase dinner with nycfattykat jojo_son annegrrrll mzneener and mattbruck! hokkaido seaurchin uni hokkaidouni KuraSushi KuraNYC sushi omakase nycsushi nycfood nyceats eeeeeats eastvillage foodporn sushiporn instayum sushipornme
Hotate! Scallop highlight - one of many - in an amazing omakase with amazing friends. I love this crew: nycfattykat annegrrrll mzneener jojo_son jeaniusnyc!
Somehow 3 of the 17 omakase courses were uni. No objection. Only jojo_son objected to the lack of Maine...
Chef Norihiro Ishizuka in action (butan ebi & anago in process). Marvelous omakase with awesome foodfriends!
SEAT FOR ONE: KURA
Well, well, well..lookie what I found here. I was walking down St. Marks a few weeks ago and saw a family talking to a young Japanese man outside a door, which was behind a curtain. My interest piqued, "Wait, what is this? Is there a restaurant behind that door?" The answer is yes, and I have found a truly hidden gem people. You would never know about this place, so you're welcome. The place is the Japanese sushi bar, Kura, and it's beyond hidden. There is no sign, no window, no website. There is just a blue curtain hanging in a small doorway, and behind it is a door that leads to this small and quaint sushi counter, where a master sushi chef is cutting up some sublime sushi omakase for y'all. It's a solid omakase. You can choose all sushi (like I did), 10 pieces of sushi, a hand roll, and miso soup, which will cost you $65, and in my opinion is a fabulous deal. Or you can order an omakase with cooked dishes, plus 4 pieces of sushi. I am obsessed and addicted to sushi, so I went all raw on my first visit. Again, this $65 price tag seems like a steal, for it's like having your own private chef for the night. There was only one other person at the bar when I arrived on a Tuesday night. Each piece was fabulous. If you are a sushi fiend like me, then check it out, if you can find it, and let me know what you think. Also, what blew my mind, was when I found out the two very nice owners are still in college. They go to the University of Michigan. When I was in college I was doing keg stands, and these guys opened up a hidden sushi gem. God Bless. Magical sushi awaits!
Lower East Side. $65-$80+ per person. Omakase only.
So here's the thing about Kura...it's the best valued Omakase I've come across.
Kura is a relatively unassuming place. It hasn't received much publicity, and is located in the lower east side of Manhattan - not exactly an area known for it's high class sushi. The restaurant itself isn't marked on the outside, and the inside sits no more than 30 people at a time. That said, reservations are still easy to come by, which is fine by me: the value is phenomenal.
The food is Omakase only, and traditional; besides the two starter courses (Monkfish Liver - one of my favourites - and Tuna with Mountain Potato), and the two finishing ones, we were served only nigiri. What impressed me most was the variety of the fish served: scallop (hotate) is not something that I've normally seen served completely raw - and it tasted delicious.
Among the highlights of the rest of the Omakase was being served both the "O-Toro" Nigiri and "Chu-Toro" Maki- I always appreciate when the Sushi Chef serves both (as opposed to just blanket "toro")
The Atmosphere is also typical but welcoming. Kura is a dark room, with a long "L" shaped Sushi bar. There are only a few tables, which is certainly appealing when it's "Omakase Only", because quality might suffer with any increase in customers. The one drawback was that the sushi chef himself did not seem so familiar with the source of the fish, but then again, Kura does not profess itself to be a place where the location of every piece of nigiri is announced prior to eating.
Kura is a hidden Omakase gem, and The Sushi Legend would certainly recommend it to anyone.
Further pics below:
yippee...the & I are going to tmrw! these were the options on our last trip foodgals pic much
after our 1st trip we realized we ! so excited to go back tmrw! belly, foodgals pic much
a quick glimpse of the man behind : Norihiro ishizuka! him, love foodgals pic much
w the : welcome to ! norihiro ishizuka, junmai & "" of marinated w yam & powder. foodgals pic
our 1st 6 pieces of at . foodgals pic
more ! surf , , snow , , & ! foodgals pic
: , , finger & of course norihiro ishizuka & his biz partner Huey! foodgals pic
"Kura" Hidden Sushi Spot Newly Opened in East Village
One of my friends told me about Kura Sushi, which newly opened in the East Village. When I was making a reservation, I was told that only a 7pm spot was available on my requested date. The place just opened in February but it has already gotten very popular recently.
I walked to Kura and found the entrance without any sign outside. If you do not know their address and do not have a map with you, you will miss the place for sure.
When I entered the place, I was directed to my seat at the sushi bar. The place is very tiny, with only about 10 seats at the bar and one table for 6 people maximum.
They do not have a food menu, just 2 selections of tasting menus: Kaiseki-style or Only Sushi. According to Wikipedia, "Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner."
I ordered Kaiseki and started with a few plates of appetizers. All of the appetizers were very good to great, but neither impressive nor memorable in the end. I always look for creative and interesting dishes across all cuisines.
After finishing all my appetizers, the chef served me 4 pieces of sushi and 1 handroll. I ordered sea urchin as an extra (outside of the course menu). Again, all of the sushi including the handroll was great, with fresh "Neta" ingredients without any fishy smell, but it was not a surprising or very memorable experience.
One memorable thing about my meal at Kura is the chef. While he was serving the dishes, he was very friendly which made my dinner enjoyable.
Overall, I was very satisfied with the quality of food, service and decor. The price was $65 for the Kaiseki menu which is quite reasonable in Manhattan.
Food: Great. Neither impressive nor memorable but the quality was still high. You will find authentic Japanese dishes and sushi at Kura.
Service: Very good. Actually, I do not have any likes or dislikes about the waitstaff, but the chef was very nice to all the customers and I loved his character.
Decor: The decor was typical of a traditional Japanese sushi place. I'm used to this type of the decor so I do not have much else to say about it, but I believe the decor is interesting for locals who would like to enjoy the Japanese sushi experience. Good for a date or with friends.
Omakase by Charming Sushi Chef Ishizuka at ”Kura”
Sushi Chef / Owner Ishizuka
Sushi Omakase: $85
Neighborhood: East Village
Kura 130 St Mark’s Pl, New York, NY 10009 (212) 228-1010
Sakura Ebi – Cherry Blossom Shrimp
Red SnapperMaguro – Tuna
ツナ角煮 Tuna KakuniAoyagi – Orange Clam
Saba Oshisushi – Pressed Mackerel
Migurai – Geoduck
Awabi – Abalon
Saba – Mackerel
Otoro – Fatty Tuna
Open Sushi Counter
SakiTamago – Egg cake
Maki Mono – Spicy Hand Roll
Ikura with Sushi Rice – Salmon Roe with Sushi Rice
Akari Miso Soup – Clam Miso Soup
Yuzu Ice Cream
Beginning of a delicious sushi omakase and kappo style dishes - Tuna topped w grated tororo n nori dust.
Delicious stuffed squid w anago (sea eel), sesame and rice.
Not the prettiest but so tasty saut cod roe w eggs. I could eat a bowl of this.
Creamy ankimo made w monkfish liver, grated daikon n chile.
Grilled hamachi Kama. Simply divine!
Seared duck w kabocha squash, eggplant, soybeans n chestnuts.
Already dreaming about this black cod Shitake dashi soup
Chutoro to start the courses
One of my favorites, hamachi Japanese amberjack, mmm!
Scallop on a piece of nori mmm!
Taking a break to get a photo of Chef Ishizuka in action. He is so friendly especially to the women, ha. Great service too feels like I was back in Tokyo.
Lightly torched Saba pressed and rolled together w rice then cut in slabs.
Final course - Otoro (fatty tuna) handroll
Red bean mochi in red bean soup. This makes me miss my grandma's red bean soup. Perfect way to end this delicious meal
Santa Barbara #Uni Nigiri One for me One for anthonymrossi #BucketDish
#Abalone Nigiri from last night at Kura I had delicious Saki #Sohomare w my Omakase MUST TRY #BucketDish
Continuing The Birthday Celebrations Happy Birthday anthonymrossi Thank you Chef Ishizuka-san
One of my favorite nigiri from last night Seared #Onago Nigiri Yummy ~
Kura- Secret Sushi and Smiles
Mr Sushi Chef at Kura, I don’t know your name, I don’t know where you came from, but I will never forget your smile. Besides being talented, the sushi chef at Kura is so damn cute and happy, he made our night. Perfectly slicing some fish? Smiling! Serving that fish? Smiling! Health inspection going on with a full restaurant? Smiling! This man is a ball of sunshine in a basement on St. Marks and we love it. Describing Kura doesn’t really do justice to the experience offered, because it sounds slightly typical to jaded NYC diners: Minimal signage on a far east stretch of St. Marks leads to a 16 seat sushi heaven with no menu and omakase only. The place is small and done simply in blonde wood, and there is not a ton of staff, but you will never want for anything. They only offer two options- cooked food omakase or sushi omakase, and a well priced list of sake, beer and wine. That is it, but the experience is so gimmick free and pretension free, and so genuine and DELICIOUS that the whole adds up to something much greater than the sum of its parts, and for whatever reason, Kura is a truly fabulous experience. Oh- and this place is wonderful for a date- intimate and kind of off the beaten path, delicious food, close quarters, bow chicka bow bow….You can plan ahead to impress and get a spot at near-by PDT after dinner.
Kura is not trying to stay hidden, they want people to know about them, but the place is just really small. Reservations are a must. I first heard about Kura from a friend of mine who is good at finding hidden sushi gems, and her like-minded brother has since made Kura a weekly addiction. Wait- did I mention that the sushi omakase is only $65 per person? That is pretty much an affordable vice in the land of fancy sushi. And we were still not quite stuffed enough so we had an additional toro hand roll for $8 each. Mr Smiley Sushi Chef even let Sister finish rolling her own, with the cruncky crispy nori crackling with every touch. I am not going to say that this sushi is the best ever ever ever, but it is on par with a lot of the highly lauded sushi places in the city for sure. The pickled vegetable amuse and the miso soup were also both executed really well, tasty additions to our sushi courses. The intimacy of the space and the experience left us smiling into the night, but maybe it was just contagious from the love the chef puts into each piece. See below for pikchtassssss…..
Nice start with some Toro
Shrimp and Scallop, so happy together
pants at a glance
scene: Simple sushi bar of blonde wood and another table
sip: Sake, wine, beer
sit: Like Noah's ark, two by two is the way to go; great date place, you are bound to get points for creativity and deliciousness
stilettos: Heels are not needed at all, but feel free to wear whatever you want
address: 130 St Marks (between 1st and Ave A)
phone number: (212) 228-1010
When visiting New York there is only one place to go if you want great sushi. That one place is called Kura. Kura is one of the widest range in menu items with them all being top of the line cuisine. If you ever need help with an item, just ask the chef. They are more than happy to help.
There is nothing better than watching your meal be prepared in front of your face. That's right. None of that people walking to the back then coming out with your plate. The sushi is prepped and served right in front of your very eyes. Kura is still new to the public but more and more are coming around.
The staff is very friendly. From my visits I can tell they love what they do. It is very rare to find a restaurant where you can tell people love what they are doing.Overall, It is just an overall great experience.