Sushi Samba, a West Village staple since 2000, gives your taste buds a workout with a unique combination of Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian cuisines from executive chef Pedro Duarte and corporate sushi chef Koji Kagawa.
Allow the expertise of a highly-trained server to guide your dining experience, starting with small plates: The Yellowtail Crispy Taquitos ($12 for two), stuffed with a creamy mixture including avocado and roasted corn miso, are enhanced by gently spiced aji panca sauce. Portuguese Octopus a la Plancha ($16), named for the Hibachi-style grill used in its preparation, is served on a delicate slice of fingerling potato. The Chilean Sea Bass anticucho ($16), glazed in miso and accompanied by Peruvian corn, melts off its skewers, and the delicate beef squares of the Japanese A5 Wagyu Tiradito ($30), fueled by a spray of truffle oil, soar on wings of truffle flakes.
You could also opt for the tasting menu, which takes you from tangy to mellow and back. It’s customized to your personal tastes with a wide selection that includes East and West Coast oysters, Kanpachi amberjack, sea urchin and ikura salmon roe with a hint of caviar. In between bites, add a chilled bottle of Divine Droplets Ginga Shizuku sake from Hokkaido ($70), a surprisingly smooth palate cleanser.
Another choice beverage is the Shishito Pepper Caipirinha ($15). Created by Richard Woods, the restaurant’s head of spirit and cocktail development, it brings a city twist to the traditional mix of cachaça, ice and lime by blending in—and topping the glass with—the pepper cousin of the jalapeño.
And don’t forget dessert: Sushi Samba’s S’mores, made with lúcuma ice cream, Peruvian chocolate and a shichimi graham cracker with a flaming marshmallow ($14), are enhanced by a splash of Lustau Pedro Ximénez San Emilio sherry ($11).
BY: TIME OUT COMMUNITY REVIEWER JIM NEDELKA