An authentic Japanese "izakaya"
I've finally found an authentic "Izakaya" (Japanese-style pub) in NYC.
The entrance of the place was so hidden that I couldn't believe it was a dining place. There was no glass window that you could look through inside and there was only a small sign bearing the restaurant's name: "Tsu ku shi." Yet I entered a heavy double‐paned side door and found JAPAN there.
No menu at this this place; dishes come after you order a drink and they are all up to the chef.
Here is the line-up of what I had:
1. Japanese gumbo
2. Chicken liver
4. Sesame tofu
5. Simmered tilefish
6. Glutinous rice dim sum
They all tasted nostalgically Japanese. The highlight for me was the simmered tilefish, which was the head of the tilefish and it tasted superb. The quality of the simmered tilefish is really hard to come by, even in Japan. I personally loved the meat right behind the fish's eyes.
After having the dishes above, you can order main dishes like ramen, Japanese-style curry, and rice in soup. I ordered rice and cod-fish eggs in soup, which tasted authentically Japanese and, of course, great. You can pair your dishes with Japanese beer and all kinds of sake, which they have lined up on display.
I can tell that this hidden gem is very popular among native Japanese. I heard that Tsu ku shi has many repeating customers. The chef is from Kamifurano, Hokkaido, so there are numerous pictures taken from the city. The tip was included in the check as a gratuity, and I thought that this place has a detailed consideration for Japanese.
A Secret Gem!
I had no idea that this homey Japanese eatery existed behind an obscure black door until my friend took me. It looks a little bit sketchy from the outside, but once you step in, you almost feel like you're visiting somebody's kitchen area. You can tell this is not just an ordinary Japanese restaurant.
We ordered Omakase, which was highly recommended by my friend (the menu depends on the chef's choice every day). Omakase covers a variety of authentic Japanese dishes, including sashimi, grilled fish, and nimono among others. Each portion is small, but you can enjoy a variety of good food. Three of us shared one big sake bottle (cold), which was a great match with those dishes. At the end of the course, we ordered either a noodle dish or rice dish as a finish (I believe there was an extra charge for this). Including tax and tip, each of us paid $100. Tsukushi is not a cheap place, but not crazy expensive for its style of food and its incredibly homey atmosphere. The decor is simple and the service was good. This place should be good for just some drinks and appetizers after work.
Perfect reproduction of an izakya (Japanese-style pub). Once you enter through the hidden entrance, you will find Japan in NYC!
The food, the service, and the decor were truly Japanese style; something you'd find in the suburbs of Japan. Maybe this is why a large portion of the clientele were Japanese and many of them seemed to be regulars. The restaurant reminded me of my home country, Japan, very much. I was hit with nostalgia.
You will find true Japanese homestyle food here. There's no menu; Omakase only without a price tag. After finishing the Omakase, you'll still be hungry, but not to worry! The waiter delivers you a list of main dishes, including the likes of Ramen, Curry, and Ochazuke, to name a few. None of the dishes I had were spectacular, but they were all tasty without a doubt. I felt it was a bit pricey for homestyle food. $65 with tip included.
My favorites 11/25
Chicken liver and boiled egg
Not friendly, but the servie was good overall. They served each dish at the right timing.
The decor was perfectly Japanese. If you like izakayas (check out my pic), you will like this place for sure. I would like to bring my American friends here so they can get a feel for an authentic Japanese atmosphere is like! Good for with friends or alone.
first three courses of our set menu dinner last night. okra w bonito flakes, tofu w beef & veggies and sashimi. tofu okra sashimi love delish
my fave dish from last night's set menu dinner: agedashi tofu in tentsuyu broth w a roasted pepper & shiitake mushroom. tofu fave love delish
next two courses of set menu: mackerel w grated radish & lemon and pork belly w pasta salad. mackerel pork porkbelly delish
the only time you receive a menu (besides for drinks) is at the end, when you decide how to finish your meal: curry, ramen, fried rice, rice ball, soba. they're all really good but I can't resist japanese curry. like ever. love fave beef curry delish
Tsuksushi is located at 300 E. 41st St and is fairly unassuming - with no signs on the door or building to let you know the name of the restaurant.The staff consists of a single waiter, bartender and chef in the kitchen. The overall review is 4 out of 5 stars but roughly 30 percent of the reviews are poor.
The offerings tend to be priced a bit on the high side and there is no physical menu to order from. High praises were given for the ramen. The food is presented without frills and is considered to be fairly tasty. It is considered to be a non-standard sushi house.
The location is quiet, unmarked and the décor is a bit rough around the edges. Atmosphere is somewhat subdued. The décor is downright horrible inside. The lack of signage on the building makes it difficult to find the location.
Service is said to have a generally helpful and pleasant attitude. The staff is flexible with helping to make sure that you are satisfied with your dish and will offer a great amount of customization in your selection.