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Sushi Ya in Garden City, New York


Ranking: 2Read Full Review


  • Food8-9(Outstanding)
  • Pricing8-9(Outstanding)
  • Atmosphere8(Outstanding)
  • Service10(Outstanding)
  • Selection9-10(Outstanding)
  • Value8-9(Outstanding)

The Review

Our latest travels took us to busy Franklin Avenue in Garden City to enjoy a meal at SushiYa. The restaurant has an awesome outdoor seating area in the back and inside there is a long hibachi bar on one side on the restaurant. There are low tables and chairs, which are surprisingly very comfortable, filled with customers in the middle. Bright paper pendant lights top the bars (sushi, alcohol and hibachi) and there is minimalist Asian art on the walls. The smell is inviting and we are greeted by the owner Eric and his lovely wife Kelly at the front door.

  • Peach Blossom We sit down and Kelly brings us two drinks that she created, called "A Peach Blossom". They have pineapple juice, grenadine, absolute peach vodka, peach schnapps and are rimmed with sugar. Each drink is adorned with a lemon slice and a cherry. They are light, refreshing and go down easily.

  • Kumamoto Oysters We are treated to our first appetizer of Kumamoto Oysters. These oyster originated in Japan from Kumamoto Bay, Kyshu. They have been called the "aristocrat" of oysters. This is due to their lightly fruity, slightly briny, flavor. Our dish is large King oysters with a chef's sauce and dotted with sriracha. Kelly recommends a sauvignon blanc, which brings out the flavor of the oysters and adds a cleanliness. The oysters are light and fresh and the sauce seems slightly sweet, perhaps a mix of ponzu and miso. They are very tasty.

  • Closer up.

  • Dynamite Next up is a hot appetizer called Dynamite, and that it was. The dish is a mix of scallops, crabmeat, shiitake mushroom, and Japanese mayo. Shiitakes are native to Asian cultures where they are both a delicacy and used medicinally. The mixture is then placed on a large half shell and baked to perfection. Again Kelly makes a good wine recommendation. We crack into the golden brown top and are greeted with by a warm, creamy texture. The fish has been diced into large chunks and is incredibly luscious. A little on the heavy side, the dish has a great flavor and creativity to boot. We find ourselves scrapping the shell hoping more will magically appear.

  • Surprise inside.

  • Kani Salad Next we are brought something incredibly light in contrast, a Kani Salad. It was shredded kani, orange tobiko and matchstick cucumbers mixed lightly with mayo. In general tobiko has a smoky, slightly salty taste and a crunchy texture. This tobiko was orange, which means it was likely colored with yuzu, a tart Asian citrus fruit. Kani salad is easily becoming a favorite. It is a great starter, being light and refreshing. The cucumbers and tobiko give it a light crunchy. Very good.

  • Diced Yellowtail Diced, sashimi styled Yellowtail came next. Hamachi is a tender fish and best when harvested in the winter, when it has a higher fat content. The dish was large pieces of yellowtail hamachi, piled high and topped with crunchy red tobiko. Red tobiko is the natural color of tobiko and it is not colored or seasoned with anything. The fish sat on top of a special blended miso sauce, which was mild and slightly spicy. The fish was super fresh and nearly melted in our mouths.

  • Another angle.

  • Tokyo Roll We receive our first sushi roll, the Tokyo Roll. It has spicy tuna, cucumber and tempura flakes inside. It was topped with avocado, fluke and tobiko. Fluke is a light, white fish and blends well with the spicy inside of the roll. The spicy tuna is well seasoned, with not too much mayo. The roll is soft and tasty

  • Closer up.

  • Cajun White Tuna Next we had a small trio of sashimi styled dishes, all containing tuna. The first was Cajun White Tuna. The tuna is bursting with pepper seasoning and pleasantly spicy. The white fish is incredibly fresh and light, with a soft texture. The slices are quite delicate and overall this dish is flavorful.

  • Iron Tuna Michael and I argued over which of the next two dishes we preferred. My favorite was the Iron Tuna. It was chopped spicy tuna, wrapped in seared tuna. The seared tuna has a slight smoky flavor and a touch of pepper. The dish is spicy and soft.

  • Hirame Mono Michael preferred the Hirame Mono. This again had spicy tuna stuffed inside but was wrapped with fluke and served with eel sauce. This dish was soft and light like the Iron Tuna, but had a touch of sweetness. Fluke, Hirame in Japanese, is light and delicate, making it great for sashimi.

  • East-West Roll We decided to switch back to sushi and ordered three rolls. The first was the East-West Roll. We were intrigued by the ingredients - spicy white tuna and avocado inside with seared tuna and minced ginger on top. At first bite, the ginger is completely overwhelming. It masked the taste of all the fish and in our opinion it ruined the roll. Perhaps without it, or a different topping, the roll could be salvageable.

  • The Anthony Roll Next was the Anthony. It was spicy salmon and tempura flakes inside with seared white tuna and a miso sauce on top. The inside is crunchy. The white tuna is soft. The slightly salty miso compliments the pepper seared fish. The roll is on the spicy side, but not too much to handle. The flavors fuse well.

  • Iso Yuki Maki We tried a special roll called the Iso Yuki Maki. It was tuna, salmon and yellowtail inside with thick slices of mango on top. The fish inside was thick, but a little bland. The mango on top is perfect, juicy and sweet, and we wish they offered it on other rolls as well. If you like mango, you'll enjoy this one.

  • Marty Unagi Wrap The Marty Unagi Wrap, from the house special section of their menu, was very appetizing. It was broiled eel and avocado with eel sauce and plum sauce wrapped in rice paper. There was no rice and the dish was more of a wrap, which was lightly toasted. Michael lovingly refers to it as "an eel hot pocket". Personally, I could do with a little more eel and a little less plum sauce. However, the dish is creative and good.

  • Bluefin Toro Sashimi We somehow soldier on and make room for Bluefin Toro Sashimi. The fish, an exquisite cut from the belly of the bluefin tuna, is soft and oily. It has a nice marbled hue, as it should and is very delicious. If you have never tried this fish, it is a must order

  • Alliana Roll With nearly full bellies, one more roll catches our attention. It is the Alliana, with spicy yellowtail and crunch inside and crunchy tuna on top, mixed with Kelly's special sauce. This roll is no joke. It is lightly spicy and the layer of tuna on top is generously thick. The fresh crunchy tuna has a beautiful deep hue and is full or flavor.

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