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Named after a 12th-century superhero, Ushiwakamaru refreshingly devotes itself almost exclusively to sushi, without the extraneous fried and broiled main courses that clog the typical downtown Japanese menu. The raw fish is of similar caliber to Tomoe and Hasaki, which means that it's damn good, and the length of the list means that you can often compare sea eel and freshwater eel, fatty tuna and semi-fatty tuna, horse mackerel and real Japanese mackerel, and other luscious combinations. The turban shellfish appetizer-flamed at your table so that the sake cooking fluid bubbles right in the shell-is not to be missed.
You can count the really serious sushi bars south of 14th Street on the fingers of one hand, and none can quite match the magnificence of midtown's Kuruma Zushi or Sushi Yasuda, and now Masa has raised the bar even higher. But why despair? Accept... More »
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