Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

KURA, 130 Saint Marks Place (between Avenue A and Frist Avenue), East Village

I like to think I know about every restaurant in the city. That’s impossible, of course. But I’m pretty close to an expert on the food offerings in New York. So it’s even more shocking when someone takes me to a place that I never heard of and it’s phenomenal.

That’s what happened when my wife walked me through a hidden curtain in the middle of St. Marks Place to discover a fantastic little sushi restaurant. I literally walk by this location multiple times a week on the cocktail tour I lead. How did I not know this was here?

Kura is a tiny counter that offers a slightly more affordable omakase (prices range from $80 to $150) and is overseen by veteran Japanese chef Norihiro Ishizuka who is jolly and talkative. His demeanor is a refreshing change from the overly focused and serious sushi chefs I’m accustomed to.

We had a huge meal and an even better show as Ishizuka joked around, cut us beautiful pristine pieces of raw and unusual fish (like a roll of tiny cherry blossom shrimp and a piece of meaty mantis shrimp), and brought out a blow torch on occasion.

Fatty Tuna at KURA

The surprising meal, which included some pressed sushi, Japanese egg custard, and a succulent sweet raw scallop, was excellent from beginning to end. But the most memorable bite was the fatty tuna which the chef caramelizes just slightly with his trusty torch. It gave the delicate soft flesh a texture and a sweetness that went deep and complemented the plump richness. It was a bite I’ll never forget.

And this place is one I’ll never forget. I just wish I had known about it before. It makes me think about how many other hidden discoveries await me out there in the New York restaurant scene.

KURA
130 Saint Marks Place (between First Avenue and Avenue A),
East Village
(212) 228-1010
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

2 Responses to DISH OF THE WEEK: Fatty Tuna at KURA

  1. Bobby DoTube says:

    Love me some sushi! looks like your wife found a gem!! nice review..

  2. Brian Hoffman says:

    She sure did! She learns from the best!

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