For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been dreaming about what our last dinner in the neighborhood would be. Yet, when the time came, we were both exhausted from the final leg of packing. Winded, aching, and ready to collapse into a dust pile, we just couldn’t go far, or get dressed up, or wait on a line, or put in any effort at all. We decided on The Loop 173 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10003, the kind of place that you could go to before the shower, even when you really need a shower.

There is a semblance of decor here, a line of sake bottles on the wall, an attempt to match brown colors, but all-in-all, you know it’s a Chinese operated Japanese Fusion restaurant. I had concerns, especially because I’m spoiled by my regular visits to Sushi Yasuda, but I didn’t care. We needed to eat.

We started with Tuna Tacos, fried wonton skins holding a raw tuna salad with scallions and cherry tomatoes. I was surprised that the tuna seemed to be grilled with mesquite wood, smoky chunks tossed in a refreshing mayo-based dressing. Next, the piping hot Miso Eggplant arrived. It was super soft with a sweet caramelized top, showing nice control over the oil.

Miso Eggplant

There’s a lot of interesting rolls here. The AK roll has three kinds of fish wrapped in rice and soy sheets, with a honey dijon sauce. The Billy Joel has tuna and salmon on the inside, with tuna, salmon, and eel on the outside, tempura crunchies, scallion, and roe, drizzled with a little balsamic dressing. These are generous portions with proportionately more fish than rice. We were really full.

Billy Joel roll and AK roll 3

Though the fish here cannot compare to Sushi Yasuda’s, it shouldn’t be compared to a true Japanese restaurant. It’s not, but still can be appreciated for the fresh fish wrapped into innovative rolls. It’s a solid neighborhood joint for a healthy meal at reasonable prices (about $25 per person).

posted by jessica at 10:45 PM Filed under Asian, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.