January 16, 2018
This might have been my favorite meal of the entire trip, so far, because of the interaction we diners had with Chef Yasuda. I won't bother ranking each piece of sushi with Licks, and I've mentioned anything I found striking at the time. I know I'll be back here the next time I'm in Tokyo.
Not photographed due to my overzealousness and elation were (1) shima aji (Japanese striped jack), (2) Norwegian salmon, (3) sea bream and (4) unagi (fresh-water eel).
Sushi Bar Yasuda
Chef Yasuda's Ten Commandments (as I surmised them)
1. There is no better fish, just different fish.
2. I don't eat sushi so preparing it remains exciting.
3. A vast majority of the eel consumed at Japanese restaurants is a processed fish other than eel and comes from a factory in China.
4. I don't go to Tsukiji Market early in the morning.
5. I age my tuna several days to allow some of the starch to break down to yield a better flavor and texture.
6. Sushi preparation changes every 20 years or so due to changes in refrigeration, personal taste and availability of product.
7. I don't have an assistant; I serve all the sushi myself because you can't teach style, and I want consistency for the customers.
8. No special sushi knife required.
9. Maybe 60% of the names given to sushi as captions and in books are incorrect.
10. I don't have Anthony Bourdain's contact number, so I don't reach out to him when I'm in NYC.
Yebisu - a wonderful, light lager
Bonito - a member of the tuna and mackerel family
Needlefish - an odd-looking creature
Fluke - also called summer flounder
Kampachi - also called Hawaiian yellowtail, I think
King mackerel - usually "fishier" than most other sushi, but delish
Uni (sea urchin) - from Hokkaido, Japan's northern island
Horse mackerel - again, fishy by popular tastes, but excellent texture
Oyster - I don't know from where this came
Red clam - almost always chewy, but that's its nature
Ebi (shrimp) - cooked and delicious
Sweet ebi - raw and wonderful
Another uni from Hokkaido, silky and creamy goodness
Mackerel - I didn't catch which kind
Sweet ebi - Chef Yasuda gave several of us at the bar a second helping
Snow crab - cooked and sweet, I wonder if it's ever served raw
Miso soup - the best way for me to fight my cold