Dish Recommendation By Julia Burgi
In the wake of the terrible disaster in Japan, it is on the mind of many New Yorkers to help out with the crisis relief abroad. Bon Yagi, the owner of Hasaki Sushi had the same idea. He brought together Hasaki, a hidden gem in the East Village of New York City, the 10 other restaurants that he owns, and partnered with other restaurants, to provide relief to Japan. Even though Dine Out for Japan Relief campaign ended on March 30th, the restaurant is still a great place to enjoy a steaming bowl of Miso Soup.
It is one street north of the busy St. Mark's, filled with souvenir, tattoo, and piercing shops, and has the ambiance of the calm of a storm. Your experience begins with the descent on a barely noticeable staircase to an antiqued wooden doorway that takes you to the hostess' stand.
One of my favorite parts about going out for sushi is the Miso soup - even on the hot days, there is no better way to start a meal at a Japanese restaurant. I love the variety you get around the country and especially in New York City.
I start my meal out with a green tea, which has an uncanny depth at Hasaki. Next is the miso soup, a star in and of itself. It is always served in a geometric black bowl with a red interior and matching top to keep it warm before it reaches your table. As you lift the top, a savory, salty smell rises with the steam. The translucent red soup is filled with tiny, juicy cubes of tofu and tasty strips of seaweed. The flavor is more intense than your average miso, with a subtle smokiness and distinct heartiness.
As far as sushi goes, I trust the chef's choice. The fish here is fresh, tender, and full of flavor. If you're in for an after-dinner treat, order the coffee which is brewed in a contraption straight out of a 19th century scientist's lab!
Hasaki is located at 210 E. 9th Street in New York City.