sushi ishikawa, upper east side new york
The Facts
NAME: Sushi Ishikawa
IT'S: an affordable omakase with some pleasant surprises

09-06-2017

OPENED: June 09th, 2017
WHO'S BEHIND IT: Don Pham
LOCATION: Upper East Side
ADDRESS: 419 E 74th St.
CLOSEST SUBWAY: 72nd St.
OPENING TIMES: Tues-Sat 5:30pm-10pm; Sun-Mon closed
WEBSITE: Visit Site
CONTACT: 212-651-7292
FACEBOOK: Visit Facebook
INSTAGRAM: Visit Instagram

Sushi Ishikawa

OPENED192 DAYS AGO

There are plenty of great omakase options in New York City, but diners have noticed that the prices for these chef-picked specials have been steadily creeping upwards over the years. Sushi Ishikawa, a new sushi spot on the Upper East Side, promises to turn back the clock by offering great omakase at a reasonable price. 

The Spot:  

The bar is perhaps one of the most visually appealing sushi bars in the city, with clean, geometric lines and built from light-colored ash. Even better, these architectural flourishes remain uninterrupted by a monolithic glass sushi display case, as it does in countless other spots across Manhattan. 

A few tables round out the dining area, and the entire space is well-lit and hits that elusive mark between modern and cozy. 

The Food:  

Chef Don Pham, formerly of O Ya and Geisha, has put together an omakase that neatly toes the line between traditional and contemporary, with a healthy combination of traditional nigiri – the familiar slice of fish on a brick of sushi rice – and inventive dishes and twists on classic favorites that will keep diners on their toes. 

A few of his dishes are downright revelatory. An early piece of nigiri had the entire bar debating its origin, with most claiming it was salmon – sake – before Chef Pham informed the diners it was actually Tasmanian ocean trout. But this piece had more going for it than simple surprise; the trout was exquisitely soft and melt-in-your-mouth savory, with none of the oily aftertaste that turns off many diners to salmon. 

The kampachi was also a highlight, as was the abalone – the former served with pleasantly spicy strands of Thai basil, the latter perfectly chewy (a positive when it comes to abalone). 

Even with traditional favorites, the quality at Sushi Ishikawa was a step above others, and competitive against more expensive eateries. The tako – or octopus – was incredibly smooth and buttery without being chewy or gristly, like poorly-prepared octopus has a tendency to be. The uni (sea urchin), which is quickly turning out to be 2017’s breakout menu item, was elevated by a thin layer of winter truffle. 

The Drinks:       

The drinks list is dominated by sake, of both the ginjo and junmai variety (the difference being added alcohol in the distillation process). There’s also a respectable selection of wine, in red, white and rose options. Beer is available, as well. 

The Damage:     

Sushi Ishikawa offers two varieties of omakase, with the 12-course meal coming in at $85 and a 15-course option clocking in with a $125 price tag. A glass of sake ranges from $9-13. 

In A Nutshell:  

Despite the lower-than-average price tag at Sushi Ishikawa, many of Chef Pham’s dishes are genuinely inventive – and all of them feature the quality of sushi diners might find at a much higher price. This sushi bar is destined to become one of the better-known spots in New York City; make sure to grab a seat at the counter before everyone finds out about it.

The Facts
NAME: Sushi Ishikawa
IT'S: an affordable omakase with some pleasant surprises

09-06-2017

OPENED: June 09th, 2017
WHO'S BEHIND IT: Don Pham
LOCATION: Upper East Side
ADDRESS: 419 E 74th St.
CLOSEST SUBWAY: 72nd St.
OPENING TIMES: Tues-Sat 5:30pm-10pm; Sun-Mon closed
WEBSITE: Visit Site
CONTACT: 212-651-7292
FACEBOOK: Visit Facebook
INSTAGRAM: Visit Instagram
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