If you love sushi, and you truly want to eat until you explode, this is the place. You will leave here with an extra ten pounds. And the all-u-can-eat option costs a paltry $23. Hell, that’s what it costs for a movie ticket and a popcorn. Except here, you at least know you’re going to get your money’s worth.
Yuka sits in the Yorkville neighborhood of the Upper East Side. It has a great mix of people, as it begins in the low 80s and stretches into Spanish Harlem.
Best part, this isn’t one of those all-u-can-eat conniving restaurants that gives you so much rice with the sushi that you can barely taste the fish. Nope. In here, the sushi chefs give you the same amount of fish-to-rice ratio as they would give the patrons who buy a-la-carte.
And getting here is a cinch. Take the 4 or 5 to 86th St., then walk south. Or, take the 6 to 77th and walk north. But don’t forget to go east to 2nd Ave.
Upon entering, the first thing you’ll notice is the friendliness. You are immediately greeted by three or four chefs. They do this no matter how crowded it gets. And in here the chefs never make you feel bad for being a glutton. They won’t browbeat you or make faces at you.
But it can get packed, so it might be best to go as soon as they open. On weekdays, they open at 5pm. On weekends, they open at noon. They stay open till 11:30pm on Friday’s and Saturday’s, otherwise it’s 11pm closing.
While their selections don’t cover the full rainbow of sushi — hell, what restaurant is going to give away free toro? — it covers the primary selections, like tuna, salmon, mackerel, yellow tail, handrolls and rolls. And they go well beyond the routine offering of a California or Rainbow. They offer quite a few of the more exotic ones, like New York and Dragon rolls. Even the coveted Soft-Shell Crab roll is offered for half the price.
And don’t be surprised if you get into a conversation with a stranger at the sushi bar. There is a genuine neighborhood ambience that permeates the restaurant. It’s like going to a party where you’re expected to mingle, but without the pressure.
If, however, talking with strangers is not your tea, they have the dining room, which gives off a great intimate vibe — dark enough for a romantic night out, but not so dark you feel like you have to whisper. Just as often, though, the restaurant rumbles with spritely conversation.
-Written by TheBong-