The battle between casual and quality is a difficult one. Can you have both? Can a restaurant put you at ease while serving up five-star quality dishes or must such meals always come with a dress code? If the easygoing elegance of chef Shuji Hiyakawa’s Wabi Sabi is any indication, you can most certainly have your gourmet sushi bowl and eat it too (while wearing shorts and sandals nonetheless). Located in the charming Upper Eastside neighborhood, Wabi Sabi serves some of the best Japanese food in town for lunch and dinner. The restaurant’s effortless style works in wonderful partnership with its sleek menu, a handsome blend of fresh dishes big on flavor and low on ego. The star of the show here is the sushi bowl (also known as donburi bowls). Chef Shuji organizes the bowls with lovely combinations of fresh tuna, salmon, crab, rice, seaweed and more. They are laid out with the same artful touch as the origami cranes that dot the wall (which Chef Shuji folded himself too). You really won’t find many casual spots that put such an emphasis on craft and authenticity. Most folks have a favorite bowl but the occasional surprise lurks inside the kitchen. You’d be wise to keep a close eye on Wabi Sabi’s hunger-inducing Instagram account to stay informed. There, the chef often announces limited menu offerings thanks to special fresh ingredients. If you ever see him holding up a dreamy, marbled hunk of wagyu, stop what you’re doing and get to the restaurants immediately—or you risk blowing a chance to try the uni and wagyu hand roll.
|Venue name:||Wabi Sabi by Shuji|
851 NE 79th St
|Cross street:||at NE 8th Ct|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Sat noon–9pm|
|Do you own this business?|