Restaurants, Japanese Lenox Hill
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
5 Love It
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Photograph: Filip Wolak

An air of downtown exclusivity has seeped into the Upper East Side, where a seat at this diminutive sushi joint is harder to snag than one at the latest It restaurant. Score a place in one of the three omakase-only seatings and you'll be dining on nigiri turned out by a Morimoto alum. They're not as dainty and refined as the ones at other premium fish houses, but Toshio Oguma isn't serving run-of-the-mill California rolls, either. The chef dispatches stripped-down offerings at a price that won't make you wince. Smoked bonito is brightened by a fleck of ginger, tangerine-colored salmon singed lightly for a bit of chew, and the sweetness of juicy botan ebi offset by a teacup of briny shrimp broth. The quality will please purists, even if the Adele and J-pop soundtrack won't; still, New Yorkers looking for an intimate alternative to hush-hush sushi dens should sit in on bandanna-clad Oguma's nightly dinner parties.


Venue name: Tanoshi
Address: 1372 York Ave
Cross street: between 73rd and 74th Sts
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 6-10pm
Transport: Subway: 6 to 77th St
Price: Average omakase: $60. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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5 / 5

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I almost didn't write a review of this place, because I want it to stay a hidden gem of mine, but that would be entirely unfair.

Tanoshi is amazing. And fresh. And cheap. And intimate. It's one of those anonymous looking spots where you would walk by thinking it's just another random Asian restaurant. It's not.

You could come here during lunch and a separate occasion for dinner, because they're two entirely different experiences worth having. Lunch is served as a bento box (try the salmon teriyaki and chicken kaarage) and dinner is some serious sushi, which you have to make reservations for a month in advance. It's inexpensive and BYOB. Win-win.