Studio 151 Sushi in East Village

Studio 151 in the East Village is the sexiest sushi omakase you will ever experience, in the truest sense of the word. When I entered the space, I initially thought I was entering a nightclub. There was a line outside, we had to get vetted by a doorman, and then we walked through a dark set of stairs to enter the room. The room definitely is a vibe–there were posters of naked women on the wall, a DJ was spinning some tunes in the corner, and very young and hip people were having some drinks. The people watching was truly amazing. I was impressed to see a very diverse group of people really committed to wearing a “look” for their night out. But in the back of my mind, I was thinking where are we? Are we early for some sort of afterparty? Where is the sushi?? This is about as far away from the quiet and zen omakase atmosphere that usually marks most sushi restaurants.

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Omakase Room by Maaser

wagyu beef and truffle (very good)

Those of you who know me know that I love a good omakase, especially when it is under $100. While the price points of omakase meals keep creeping north of $300+, I do stumble on new sub $100 places every few months. Omakase Room by Maaser is my latest find, a sushi restaurant in the West Village that was opened by Sushi Seki and Sushi by Bou vets in 2019. The 12 course omakase will run you $95 per person, while 17 courses will run you $135. I would advise you to stick with the $95 option and then order any extra pieces you like a la carte at the end. You can essentially tailor your own 17 course omakase with pieces that you would actually like, which is important, because not everything is created equal here.

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Shiki Omakase in Soho

uni with truffle

I always look forward to a sushi omakase, but the meal doesn’t come cheap. A new sushi bar seems to open in New York City at least every quarter, and the prices keep going up. For instance, the latest entrant to the high-end sushi scene is Yoshino, which prices its omakase at $400 per person. So I was super excited and curious when I passed by the signage for Shiki Omakase, a new sushi restaurant in Soho that offers a $65 omakase. It practically seems like a steal in comparison to so many other places. I had to try it, and the fact that it was byob was even more motivation, so off I went for lunch one day.

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Nami Nori Hand Rolls in West Village

eggplant, red miso, gobo chips and maitake truffle temaki rolls

You won’t get a table at Nami Nori on your first try. Waiting in line early before the restaurant opens doesn’t guarantee this either. My first attempt at Nami Nori resulted in a host quoting me an hour and 45 minute wait time, leading me to defect to Jeju Noodle Bar. Of course, I made the mistake of rolling in at a prime dinner hour of 7 pm, so I figured if I came before the restaurant opened, I would definitely have a shot.

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Sushi in Midtown at Uogashi

There are plenty of expensive sushi restaurants in New York, but not as many in the middle tier, which I guess is defined as something in the $70-$150 omakase range. That technically means Sushi Nakazawa is in the “affordable” category, which I don’t totally agree with, but relative to $300, I guess it is. Uogashi is one of those few restaurants that fall in the middle category. You can choose from tiers of omakase ranging from $95 – $175, and even more affordable are the different sushi box sets.

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