I had been to Sushi of Gari a couple of times over the years including visits to their original Upper East Side and Upper West Side locations, but I have never eaten at the sushi bar. I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t fully judge a sushi restaurant until you’ve eaten at the bar. Fortunately, I had a free dinner one evening and I managed to snag a last minute spot at the Midtown location.
The meal started with a few non-sushi bites. Although interesting, the deep-fried kingfish was probably the most flavorful. It was kind of a like a very delicate fish cake.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Nodoguro so after looking it up, I now know it is Japanese white fish known as a blackthroat seaperch. It was topped with some lemon and salt. A nice light start to the sushi to come.
Salmon can be pretty standard, but I can’t recall what was sprinkled on top to make this already tasty salmon even more delicious.
I used to think raw shrimp was pretty gross, but I’ve really grown to enjoy this sweetness of it. This was topped with a yuzu miso sauce which made it taste even more interesting.
I was a little surprised to be offered Toro this early in the meal, but I wasn’t going to turn it down. It was just as unctuous as you could hope for in fatty tuna.
I really like horse mackerel because unlike how it sounds, it doesn’t have the fishiness of mackerel (saba). The creamy miso and chopped green onions made it even more delectable.
The oyster was topped with rice, soy sauce and bread crumbs for some added bit of texture.
I think this is one of Chef Gari’s signature pieces of sushi and I still remember how interesting it tasted. The creamy tofu puree with sesame chili oil is so unique. The bluefin tuna serves as the perfect canvas to really turn this sushi into quite a master piece.
Scallop like shrimp is definitely something that I didn’t immediately love but I really enjoy when it is done well. The plum sauce added a nice tangy sweetness.
Even when fish such as Japanese Trout is deep fried a la tempura, it is amazing how delicately they can do it where the lightness of the fish is not overwhelmed with oil and batter. This was quite well done.
All these bones were completely edible. I really enjoyed the crunchiness and appreciated the lightness in spite of it being deep fried.
The golden head pink snapper is marinaded in soy sauce and topped with some crispy seaweed. There was a markedly smoky taste which made this quite interesting. I really enjoyed it.
Really good uni is very difficult to come by, but when it is good, it is really great. It tastes amazingly clean yet very rich.
The torching gave the swordfish an interesting smokiness and the firmness of the fish was unlike you would expect for most types of sushi.
The accoutrements added a unique texture and flavor profile to the snapper which is normally quite neutral in flavor.
Another signature sushi that I recall from my first visit. The fresh salmon is topped with sweet onions and sauteed tomatoes. It has a notably Western slant probably because the sweet tomato mixture reminds me of Italy.
I like the smokiness that torching gives to the fish, and this tasted just as good as the others. I was beyond full by this point, but I was curious to see what else the chef would have next on the docket.
This was a white fluke that was also torched and topped sweet onion sauce, poached quail egg and white truffle oil. With the entrancing aroma of truffle oil finishing off this wonderfully tasting bit of sushi, I was finally ready to call it quits.
I hadn’t had tempura fried ice cream in such a long time, and I had only intended to have a bite or two, but it was so freaking delicious, I ate more than half the dessert. I absolutely love the lightness of the batter. It’s bready without being heavy and the fresh berries just added a nice bit of fruitiness.
Overall, I love, love, love the sushi here. It’s definitely a more modern take, but I enjoy the interesting combination of flavors and ingredients that are added to the sushi that manages to never mask the freshness of the fish but still take the flavors to whole new level. I highly recommend making a visit to any of the locations. Even though I’ve only done omakase at this location, they have all been equally good. It’s not light on the pocket book, but I would argue it is pretty worth it.
Sushi of Gari 46
347 W 46th St.
New York, NY 10036
PAFO Ratings for Sushi of Gari 46:
Ambiance 3½ stars
Food 4½ stars
Overall rating 4½ stars