Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Review: Mizu Sushi

Mizu Sushi
(Flatiron district)
29 E 20th St (Between Broadway & Park), New York
(212) 505-6688

Vancouverites swear that five dollars buys you a heaping platter of sushi. I don't believe it. Regardless, Mizu Sushi in the Flatiron district is not expensive by Manhattan standards- two of us ate generously for about $60. Whether you live across the street or you take the subway, arriving here is a pleasure. Do you walk up from the Village, the Empire State Building framed perfectly by the ornate pre-war buildings of 5th avenue? Or exit the subway (I still struggle not
to call it the metro) at Madison Square Park or Union Square?

Mizu is relaxed, the sushi fresh and plentiful. The loudish pop music is a bit odd, but trust me (and I'm no Top-40 fan), it's entertaining. The relatively plain room, tucked in the bottom of an elegant brownstone, is bustling with women- almost entirely women- out with their girlfriends for an early Tuesday dinner. If you plan to go out later, this is a great place to begin the night.

Standards such as California rolls and the sashimi platter ($23) were excellent, and the chicken teriyaki was good but unremarkable. The only disappointment was the ebi (sweet shrimp), which were small and a bit shriveled, although still tasty. Service is efficient and minimal, which I prefer, but on busy nights they do rush customers a bit.

By the way, Mizu does not take reservations, so expect to wait a few minutes on busy nights. But given the crowd, it would be a pleasure- friendly young people abound and you'll make some new friends with whom to continue your night.

Bottom line: Recommended for a casual dinner or a spontaneous sushi fix, or as a jumping-off point on a Thursday or Friday night. A refreshingly unpretentious, simple Japanese restaurant.


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