Another Spin on Sushi

Another Spin on Sushi

Sushi bar at Kodama Shushi

If anyone reads my blogs on a regular basis, you will no doubt notice how often sushi gets covered. In fact, for a while, as the Editor of IN New York, I had a little fantasy of attempting to cover every credible sushi joint in town, assuming as many people—visitors and New Yorkers alike—are as much a fan of this fun-to-eat, easy-on-the-diet and totally delicious food as I am. But then, the thought overwhelmed me: No doubt, I would have turned mermaid before even finishing up Midtown. So, instead, I share with you some of my more delightful experiences in the wonderful world of fresh raw tuna, yellowtail, salmon and the like.

I asked a colleague recently for a good sushi place in the Theater District, making for an easy-in, easy-out, with plenty of time to stroll to the show. He promptly answered,“Kodama Sushi, and the Broadway Bento box, a tremendous deal.” Taking his word as gospel, I grabbed my friend and headed over to the small Japanese eatery on W. 45th St. My friend immediately exclaimed upon walking in, “I love this place! It's so old school! Like the way sushi restaurants in the 1970s were, before they became so chi-chi.“ I had to agree with her summation. Kodama had a worn feeling to it, but a cheerful, warm and comfortable worn, as though its sushi chefs and waiters have been serving their customers for decades, and really knew what they were doing. The restaurant was decorated in the front with hanging woodblocks of colorful Japanese lanterns and lettering. The walls offered murals of traditionally dressed Japanese women and cherry blossoms, and the menu offered some creative options. Though the Broadway Bento Box was indeed impressive—for about $20, you get a soup, salad, teriyaki, assortment of sushi, shumai (steamed shrimp dumpling) and tempura dishes—I wasn't sure I was hungry enough for quite that banquet. Instead, my guest and I opted for the black fire crunchy spicy tuna roll and the “Mets” roll, rolled barbecued sea eel and cucumber, wrapped with avocado (to be democratic, the restaurant offers a Yankees roll as well). The black fire roll was indeed well-named, a powerful explosion of flavors that included red tobiko, spicy tuna and chunks of  cucumber—but most satisfying, and the fresh, milder Mets roll, was a great counterpoint. These were sided with a generous plate of edamame and two large house salads with a none-too-sweet ginger dressing.

After dinner, we even had time to share a chocolate salted-caramel doughnut at City Kitchen, the food hall across the street. Another successful evening for Lois in the City of Great Sushi!

» Kodama Sushi, 301 W. 45th St., 212.582.8065