Since I arrived NYC I have been searching for a restaurant to go to on a regular basis. One that offers a comfortable interior, good service, and great taste with reasonable prices. I think I finally found such a place. I visited Wasan with virtually zero knowledge about the restaurant — I found it on Yelp after attending a happy hour event in the East Village. My first impression was that the app incorrectly directed me to a European restaurant, but after double-checking the name and address, I realized I was at the right location after all.
I was impressed at the waiter’s knowledge of sake and various food that the restaurant offered. Japanese cuisine is relatively new to the mainstream circuit in NYC in my opinion, and not many waiters/waitresses exhibit a depth of knowledge that I found here.
I started off with delightful house-made pickles – a choice of 3 from the various options. I also ordered deep fried eggplant marinated in oyster sauce and dashi (broth) — one of my favorite Japanese dishes. For my main entree, I chose simmered black cod. I have ordered this a number of times at other restaurants and I felt that most were overpriced and bland. Wasan cooked it perfectly — every mouthwatering, tender morsel — and it melted in my mouth. It was priced reasonably, and I added Orion (a microbrew from Okinawa) and Shichda sake for my beverages. The portions at Wasan are also very generous – unlike most Japanese restaurants – without sacrificing any quality whatsoever. An appetizer matched with an entrée will definitely leave you feeling satisfied. The only downside is that you may not have any room for more, thereby not being able to enjoy their delicious strawberry-coconut homemade ice cream (topped with sake sorbet) for dessert!
This is the first restaurant in NYC where I could eat every day without any hesitation.
Price: $70 for my selection including dessert and tip
Neighborhood: edge of East Village
Dress code: Casual and comfortable venue for a date
Dining alone: No problem. Great counter serviced by a caring staff