Photo via mihokos21grams.com

Photo via mihokos21grams.com

Adventurous; it’s a word that can be associated with dining on raw foods inspired by far away locales.

But when it comes to sushi, stomatology more often than not many get stuck in a rut. Ever find yourself ordering the same spicy tuna rolls and tempura appetizers every time you visit your local sushi spot around the corner?

Sure, malady you might switch up your rolls and nigiri pieces every now and then, sale but what if you wanted to push the envelope of your Japanese food repertoire beyond the usual fusion you’ve had so far? (And yes, the sushi that you’re eating is indeed fusion. Avocado and eel? Jalapeño and yellow tail? Caterpillar roll? CREAM CHEESE? All dreamt up here, in the USofA to utilize local ingredients or to add an American spin on sushi.)  

Then step out of your comfort zone and into Mihoko’s 21 Grams, a restaurant in the Flatiron District that’s bringing together the art of Japanese and French ingredients and techniques to produce something new. The restaurant is a modernist take on Versailles, with clean lines and touches of Baroque extravagance. The immaculate presentations include beautifully pressed sushi, pieces of nigiri that look like miniature gardens, and cocktails creations that make use of cognac and sake. You can choose from a prix fixe menu for $95.00 for four courses without pairings or an omakase menu of seven courses for $150.00.

Dieci in the East Village combines the flavors of Italy and Japan with finesse; and if you’re an uni (sea urchin) fan, you need to head straight to this restaurant tonight. Multiple dishes employ the sweet, creamy addition of uni to perfection. While uni pasta is found on multiple menus throughout the city, Dieci has a few other options worth trying for the first time. Most notably is their Uni Scrambled Egg with Sturgeon Caviar ($18). The eggs are scrambled ever so slightly, and the textures of the uni and caviar melt into the creamy eggs. The Miso Seared Foie Gras with Simmered Daikon ($15) floats in a pool of dashi broth, coming together to create a savory and decadent dish that’s perfect for the cold weather. The prices here are reasonable and the food carries a richness in its flavors.

Shalom Japanthe newest of these restaurants, is located in Williamsburg and its name says it all. The restaurant blends Jewish and Japanese dishes and spins out totally transformed plates. While Shalom Japan doesn’t have sushi-specific fusion, Japanese ingredients find themselves intertwined with Jewish staples to create some magic.  Panko Carraway Lamb Ribs ($16) and Sake Challa Bread with Raisin Butter ($7) are just some of the dishes the kitchen has concocted, and the drink menu features sakes as well as Manichewitz.

They say that variety is the spice of life. So give your fallback dinner plans a kick to the curb and try something new tonight.

 

AT A GLANCE:

Mihoko’s 21 Grams:

Perfect for: A special occasion or impressing the parents of your foodie S.O. (mihokos21grams.com)

Dieci:

Perfect for: Uni lovers. (www.dieciny.com)

Shalom Japan:

Perfect for: Dinner with friends and family dinners. (shalomjapannyc.com)

 

– Lauren Durden
Blog: Eat My Words
Twitter: @EatMyWordsBlog1