Sushi Park – East 121 2nd Avenue (between 7th and 8th Street)
On Christmas Eve, a Gaijin Girl's thoughts naturally turn to mistletoe, christmas lights, cranberry sauce...and sushi?
Okay, my tastes are far from normal. But it was Christmas evening, and there were still gifts to buy...so the East Village—and Saint Mark's Comics--beckoned.
I'm often in the East Village, and one place that I'd been meaning to try for quite some time was Sushi Park. Located next to Toy Tokyo, Love Saves the Day, and the landmark Pomme Frites, it's a place I pass by often in my travels. (It's also just around the corner from Jimmy's—one of my husband's favorite haunts, so I know the exterior of Sushi Park quite well.)
It was finally time to try the interior. On Christmas Eve, we went inside.
One of the great draws of Sushi Park is their half-off special: 50% off on sushi (no takeout, please) with a $14.00 minimum. My husband ordered beef teriyaki and tempura. Naturally, I dove into the sushi. It turns out that Sushi Park has an impressive number of veggie options (a definite plus in my book, since most places stick with California Roll), so I went for three maki rolls: pickled daikon radish, tofu/avocado, and kimchi. Yes, kimchi. From what I can tell, Sushi Park is actually Korean owned (hence Park in the name). It even has a page of Korean dishes in the menu - worthy of future exploration. A glass of Umeshu (plum wine) and Pepsi topped off the order...which came quickly.
Everything proved satisfying. Served in a hot bubbling dish, the terriyaki was flavorful, winning the Phil “Seal of Approval.” The breading on the tempera? Light and airy, with a delicate crunch. And the rolls? Good—though not mind-blowing--and not made for a sushi gourmand (the rice came plain, with no vinegar seasoning.) But the veggies were fresh, tasty...and a decent size – a nice change of pace from my usual spicy tuna sampling. The only complaint of the evening was the Pepsi – which came without ice. No ice? How dare they! Hardly something to ruin the evening..especially with a full belly of maki.
We walked away from Sushi Park happy and full. All in all, a good experience...one worthy of return trips.
It was a Merry Christmas for all. And for all...and tasty good night.