Fine Casual Sushi Restaurant
When I found an article about a restaurant called Kura Sushi and about how the restaurant opened recently in the East Village in kind of a hidden location, it sounded interesting and I wanted to try it. But my friend had already visited and said that it was not so good and their technique of making sushi was a little sloppy, so I didn't go there right away. In such a situation, my other friend asked me to go there with her last week, and I decided to try it. I knew the better choice was Sushi Dojo, but I like to try new spots.
When we arrived there, all of seats at the bar were full. We wanted to eat at the bar, so we waited about 30 minutes until two seats became available. There were only about 10 seats at the bar. There was also a small table, so we could wait at the table and enjoy ourselves by drinking and eating an entree. The atmosphere was better than I expected, and it was a cozy and clean space. It was located in a noisy part of the city, especially on weekends, but inside it was so quiet. I liked it. The waiters were so kind, well-trained, and polite, and they moved so quickly and efficiently.
We both ordered a $65 omakase course which consisted of 10 pieces of sushi. They did a good job of serving us based on our tastes. For example, I told them that I preferred whitefish over shellfish and they catered to this request for all 10 pieces of sushi. The sushi was good and worth the price.
I always order sake when I eat sushi, so we ordered sake, but I thought it was a little expensive even though sake is more expensive in the US than in Japan.
We were the last customers of the day, so they were a little rushed to serve us. However, the chef was friendly and kind, so I felt that I wanted to come here again.
Overall, I was satisfied and I can enter it into my list of favorite sushi restaurant in New York.
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
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 ~
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
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.