Kuruma Zushi (NY) – Fish Still King

After the Sushi Yasuda letdown last monday, a friend & I ate a Saturday lunch @ Kuruma – No competition.

Notables

1. This is a fish-first type of place. We had 10 courses of sashimi & 10 courses of sushi. The fish quality is just as good as Masa and a level or 2 higher than Yasuda. The rice quality is inferior to Yasuda; not warm enough & not enough vinegar. The ratio of rice to fish on the sushi is better than Yasuda (or Masa) – there’s still enough fish to really bite into it & taste it.

2. Kuruma is *the* place for Bonito – 2 giant pieces of ruby red tuna perfectly seared on the outer edges. Better than anywhere – a truly underrated fish. So good we asked for more.

3. Similar to Yasuda the other night, the spanish mackerel/sardine progression was excellent – get out to your favorite spot & order this fish now – over the past 3 months, i’ve enjoyed excellent pieces from Manresa, Bastide, Yasuda, & Kuruma.

4. He served a “special” tuna that had the ‘meatiness’ of tuna but some of the fat content of toro. The fish was still a ruby red, similar to a pink grapefruit, and it was one of the best pieces of ‘tuna’ i’ve ever had.

5. The toro was good but nothing compared to Sawa (Bay Area) – the ‘special’ tuna was a far better treat.

The Entire Meal

Sashimi
- toro
- kampachi
- shamaji
- yellowtail
- fluke
- bonito
- red snapper
- king crab (cooked)
- baby shrimp (raw)
- “special” tuna

Sushi
- toro
- spanish mackerel
- sardine
- horse mackerel
- fluke
- giant clam
- sea eel
- lightly cooked shrimp

Afterward, we suspected the chef was really hoping we’d stop eating. He was scrambling towards to end for new things and i don’t think he was ready for the locust-like feast!

Overall
The United States sushi battle would fall like:
- Sawa (Bay Area) still reigns supreme
- Kuruma fish quality is about 90% of Sawa & equal in quality to Masa (at 50% discount)
- Masa if you want sushi and/or variety (30 different kinds of fish)
- Yasuda is a poor man’s Masa
- I still need to try Ushi Wakamuru (NY) & Ursawa (LA)

- chuck

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