Monday, December 31, 2012

Sushi Mikasa

I have to admit, I was a bit tentative about reviewing Mikasa. I have mixed feelings. It seems a lot of people either LOVE or HATE this place, and after 3 times eating their food (twice in, once for takeout) I was still trying to figure out where I fell on that scale. 
You may not always agree with my opinion on this blog, but since I started my vow has always been to try and present each experience as fairly and honestly as I am able to. 

Sushi Mikasa. Let's start with the good. Chef Kevin came from Sushi Seki in Manhattan and obviously knows his stuff. The fish is extremely fresh, and the menu is creative. This place goes way beyond spicy tuna and there are always specials and new items they are working on. Everything is presented beautifully, and the food that excelled, really blew our minds. For example, the crispy rice with spicy tuna, though I've had many versions of this dish (Koi, etc), was delectable. Enough so that we got a second, and then a third order of it. The place is cozy, maybe 30 seats top, and there's also a private dining room downstairs. If you don't mind sitting close to your neighbors (and for me, knowing about 75% of the people currently eating there), then it is an intimate, nice spot for delicious sushi close to home.

Now for the not so good.

1. Location. Sushi Mikasa is located on Gravesend Neck Road, a block from the Police Precinct off of Coney Island Avenue in Sheepshead Bay area of Brooklyn. Not exactly Bond Street over here, and not an easy car or train ride from NYC. The location is pretty remote, but it is pretty close to where a lot of people I know live, so for me this is not the drawback. 

2. Service. The service was not terrible, but it was spotty at best. The Russian waitress was not very knowledgable about the menu and did not do a great job guiding us. Maybe had we just stuck to the Omakasa, it would have been a different experience, but I was looking for her to point out the don't miss items, and this just did not happen. 

3. The PRICES here are exorbitant. Now, I eat out. A LOT. I've no problem shelling out  for the big wig sushi spots in the city including Sushi Seki, Yasuda, Gari, Nobu, Bond, Neta, etc, but I have to say that leaving here and paying that much, just doesn't sit right with me. Sushi Mikasa is that place that charges extra for the extra dressing, or spicy mayo, and at this price point, I feel that is unjustifiable. Also when the bill came, we found they charged us for 2 extra orders of crispy rice tuna (1 that we ordered and never came, and another one that was never mentioned!) They barely even apologized. So with this being said, just know what you are getting into. 

Much of the food we sampled here is fresh, delicious, and excellent, but there were some misses mixed in as well. 
Here is our rundown:
-Edamame, pretty standard. 
-Tuna Pizza, good but TINY, probably would not order again. 
-Magura Tuna (diced tuna with avocado and fresh wasabi), delicious. Perfect amount of kick. 
-Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna GET THIS.
-Green Salad was pretty standard, but the Seaweed Salad was inedible. Different than any seaweed I've ever had, and not in a good way. I sent it back, and I really never do that. Also, my friend ordered the Tofu salad and was told by the waitress to try something else, "wink wink". She said it's not bad, she's just never seen it before and wouldn't want to start now. Thanks for the honestly, but um......

We also got some of the specials of the night including pieces of Seabass "Salad" (right) which was crispy and tangy and delicious. The Tuna with Pinenuts (left) had a mushy texture and needed something crunchier. I didn't care much for the Tuna with Pepper (I was expecting spice, it was more of a roasted pepper). My pieces of King Salmon, and Snapper with Sea Salt were fresh and perfect, and the Salmon Skin Hand Roll was also very good. Toro Scallion Roll and the Salmon Avocado Roll were also great. 

For 4 people we definitely ate but I would not say that we over ordered (which I often do!) We ended the meal with some Mochi Ice Cream, and the Layered Pastry dessert. All pretty much on par with what you would expect for dessert at a decent sushi shop. 

Not to overstate the point, but for 2 couples, with 2 orders of hot saki and a few beers, the bill came out to OVER $300 per couple. Come on now...

So now that you have all the facts (or my opinions at least), you be the judge. The sushi is definitely fresh and delicious, but for that price and especially for that location, the restaurant should be FLAWLESS in every aspect. The food should be the last word and the service exceptional, and for me, star chef or not, this just did not happen.

Neighborhood: Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

Bite Mark: ***

Good For: Fresh Sushi, Breaking the Bank

Sushi Mikasa, 1188 Gravesend Neck Road, Brooklyn. 718-332-6600