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

I decided to treat myself recently. My birthday was a few weeks ago and I always crave high-end sushi around that time. Let’s face it, I’m always craving high-end sushi. But I am also craving a place to live so I can’t always make it a reality.

But in the last year or so, a number of spots in New York have started specializing in what many consider affordable high-end sushi. These omakase tasting menus range from $50 up to $85. Some of you may still refuse to believe that this is affordable, but when you consider Masa costs $595 per person, $50 sounds like a steal.

The first to gain much notoriety with this was Sushi on Jones which is part of Bowery Market and features outdoor seating only. I walk by this tiny hole in the wall very often and have been tempted by their $50 12-piece omakase. When I finally got around to splurging, I discovered the controversial chef David Bouhadana had left and opened a new $50 sushi restaurant called Sushi by Bou.

This one is just as small, same price, and has the same 30 minute time limit. Plus it’s nestled in the corner of another food hall, Gansevoort Market underneath fluorescent blue and purple lights. I think they do this purposefully to mess with all the Instagramers.

Bouhadana was there and welcomed me to the counter graciously just 30 minutes before they officially closed. I was the only customer at this off-hour and it was a bit awkward eating all the sushi alone while the chefs sort of stared at me.

But it was worth it. All the cuts were pristine with a few unusual bites and creative twists (black charcoal ash on the scallop, wagyu topped with uni topped with truffles, etc.)

Really, one bite after the next was surprising, flavorful, and full of textures. My favorite (the uni combo was a close second) had to be the toro, or fatty tuna. It was as marbled as a piece of ribeye and just as meaty. It had a slight sweetness and a soft buttery texture. I could have eaten 5 more of these.

It was a decadent meal and somehow I managed to finish it in 13 minutes. When the chef told me it was a record, I asked if I got a prize. Sure, enough out came another piece of amazing nigiri (this was a scallop topped with chopped toro).

I’ll also be back in the future to order some of the a la carte hand rolls with things like wagyu and uni. At $14 for those and $50 for high-quality sushi, I may as well celebrate my birthday every month. Price: Part of $50 omakase

SUSHI BY BOU
Inside Gansevoort Market,
353 West 14th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenue),
Meatpacking District
(917) 870-1587
sushibybou.com
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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.

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