Where is the sushi, that is the question. Well I found it. I know, I know, I'm in New York City, where a new hip Sushi place is opening once every seven minutes.
BUT...not every one of these hip sushi places is reasonably priced, while still able to offer good quality fish, and pieces of sushi that aren't 90% rice. To find a place like that is, I think, a feat.
Before i continue, I do want to explain the title of this post. "Eyfo HaSush" nostalgically refers to my time spent abroad in Tel Aviv, Israel, where I'm pretty sure Sushi places exist even more so than in New York. So there I was in the Middle East, surrounded by plenty of places offering delicious falafal, kebabs and salads (of which I did have plenty, believe me). Yet I found myself gravitating towards the sushi restaurants on a Saturday night, since the abundance of fresh seafood available to Israel lessened the prices somewhat, making sushi an affordable (and delicious) option to my friends and me. It therefore became a running joke to ask, when seeking out a restaurant, "Eyfo HaSush???," literally translating to "where is the sush??"
Thus it was entirely appropriate that my friend Meesh, who I traveled abroad with, introduced me to this Sushi place in the East Village, called JeBon. I was expecting either really good sushi with the high prices that usually accompany it, or subpar pieces of fish at reasonable prices. I was pleasantly surprised when I was presented with beautiful pieces of carefully crafted sushi. And not only were the prices budget friendly, but the atmosphere was an interesting combination of playful and toned down.
I apologize for the poor photo quality, because it makes it hard to see the vibrant colors of these uramaki rolls (aka inside out rolls). The forefront one is a spicy tuna roll, and the one in back is shrimp tempura. The pieces were large, with the fish occupying most of the roll. The tuna was very smooth, with no fishy taste, and the spicy mayonnaise sauce atop it, while not overpowering, was flavorful and satisfying. In the tuna tempora roll, I was delighted to see how generous the shrimp portion was in each piece. The shrimp was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, indicating that the tempora had been fried moments before being prepared and delivered to me. The tempura roll also had avocado in it, which was great to have that cool, creamy texture juxtapose the warm crunch of the shrimp.
The atmosphere definitely added to pleasant dining experience. The low lighting was nice, although I should mention that the second time I went here, that wall of lights was red, and I do not recommend sitting at a table right next to blaring red beams. The music in the background, which was turned to an appropriately high, yet not deafening volume, was made up mostly of songs that one would usually hear at a club, making it a good venue on a Friday or Saturday night before continuing on to a bar or club.
I'm really happy that I've found a sushi place where I can enjoy my food and friends' company, while not having to worry about spending a fortune. That means that I can be responsible, and spend that money elsewhere, like for laundry...yeah right.