Morimoto is prototypical New York; trendy, packed, loud, but above all else, good. In fact, it's actually phenomenal, which I was shocked to find myself saying. Usually when a place has so much hype for sushi, it's because it appeals to the lowest common denominator with great maki rolls with "americanized" ingredients. Certainly Morimoto has it's fair share of spicy sauces, but it also has incredibly fresh and unique sushi that still manages to appeal to even the snobbiest of sushi connoisseurs.
The Food is incredibly unique. Take the Toro Tartar (pictured right) for example - it comes finely chopped on a slab with "caviar" on top. While the accompanying sauces and garnishes aren't for me, the tartar certainly is; the colour is as you'd expect with Toro, and the taste is outstanding. If you've heard of Morimoto before, you've certainly heard about this appetizer - and it lives up to the hype.
In addition to the sashimi platter, I also did my usual and ordered a piece of nigiri that I had never tried. In this case, the lucky option was "Sayori", or Japanese Needle Fish. Tasted a little chewier than Iwashi (Sardine), which looks similar), but certainly worth it, minus the weird stares that I usually get when I order one piece of something no one at the table has ever heard of.
Often times at these touristy restaurants, the food tends to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Usually at sushi restaurants, that means the fancy/cool fish doesn't appear on the menu, but Morimoto bucks that trend; there's plenty of options for both the snob and the rookie.
The Atmopshere is great, buoyed by excellent service, awesome decor and very high ceilings. We had multiple family members order drinks and deserts over the phone for my date's birthday; all were delivered to the table on time, without a problem.
I would certainly recommend Morimoto to any reader, but specifically tourists given its proximity to the "Highline", a beautiful park in the meatpacking/Chelsea areas of New York City.
Meatpacking District. $50-$100+ per person.
So here's the thing about Morimoto...for large groups, there is no finer sushi experience.