At first glance, six-year-old East Village standby Kanoyama appears indistinguishable from the slew of other run-of-the-mill sushi restaurants in the neighborhood. But a closer inspection reveals a much more sophisticated venue that has long touted daily imported fresh fish and one of the largest specials menus in the city, making for a sushi experience both elevated and charming.
Conservative appetites can find comfort in familiar fare like rock shrimp tempura ($12), delectable usuzukuri ($18), a rose petal-thin fluke paired with ponzu sauce, and a manicured selection of hand rolls, the standout being the fried oyster roll ($13) slicked in spicy mayo. But sushi connoisseurs and adventurous palates alike can foray into the the expansive list of daily specials, or entrust the raw-fish masters with a omakase, or chef's choice menu.
Three options—omakase sushi ($39), omakase sashimi ($49), and super omakase ($180)—are each artfully presented to stunning effect, making the meal a complete feast for all the senses. On a recent night, the super omakase commenced with a chilled corn soup topped with tempura corn that boasts a luscious consistency similar to custard. Next was the ayu nanban, a fried sweet fish in vinegar sauce, and golden seared anago, a salt-water eel that’s so deeply caramelized in unagi sauce it could pass for candy.
Though already substantial, the meal soldiered on with a selection of sashimi ranging from the standout buttery baby red snapper that melts on the tip of your tongue upon impact to a white eel emboldened by wasabi, fluke with scallion, striped jack fish with lemon salt and a disappointing scallop that was unpleasantly gummy in texture. Toro hand rolls enveloped in extra crispy nori, tobiko with egg, and a velvet unami round out the overall satisfying experience.
Service concludes with a pair of desserts: tamago, a sweet Japanese egg omelette, and monaka, a wafer-like sandwich filled with mochi ice cream and red bean sauce. It's the traditional, understated conclusion to an omakase, befitting the tried-and-true simplicity of the restaurant and its offerings.
BY: TIME OUT COMMUNITY REVIEWER CHRISTINE FISCHER HEWIT
175 Second Ave
|Cross street:||at 11th St|
|Opening hours:||Mon, Sun 5–11pm; Tue–Sat 5:30pm–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: L to First Ave; N, Q, R, W, 4, 5, 6 to Union Sq|
|Price:||Average sushi meal: $30. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.5 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Kanoyama? More like KanoYUMa! *cringing at my attempt at humor there*. Kanoyama excels in maintaining both the quality of its sushi and its cooked meals. The trout nigiri is really exquisite here. I recommend sitting at the sushi bar where you can learn about the chef's preparation and the origin of the fresh fish of the day. The staff is very attentive and welcoming.
This is our perennial favorite. Super high quality Japanese specialty sushi & sashimi, expertly prepared and beautifully presented. Excellent cooked food from back of the house, too!
I had heard about Kanoyama a while ago as spot when you get can quality sushi for a reasonable price. It has a $39 omakase menu! Compared to famous omakase restaurants that charge upwards of $150 per person (although I'm sure the fish is delicious), this is much more affordable. I did not get the omakase but instead order the $18 special: 3 rolls and miso soup. The service here was excellent. The waiter was very attentive, and the plate was arranged beautifully. There were five sushi men behind the counter, so the sushi came out pretty quickly. I am looking forward to going back.