I'd hate to "bury the lead" so to speak, so I'm going to get right to it: The best looking pictures that I have of sushi are from Sushi Katsuei. Not Naoe (#1!), not Ichimura, not even Suzushi in Mansfield, Texas (wait...who am I kidding?). I'm not sure if it's the lighting, the fish, or the sushi bar, but check out the pictures to the right (and follow me on instagram). I'll wait...
What makes those photographs so amazing? The Atmosphere is - first and foremost - sublime. The lighting is bright and inviting around the sushi bar, with no weird pastel colours on the walls that most neighborhood sushi restaurants fall victim to. There is also a somewhat large seating area, which makes eating with family and friends more than possible.
The food is the other part of the equation. I ordered the omakase, which - at an extremely reasonable $45 for 10 pieces of nigiri - is as great a value as you will find in New York City. As I always recommend for good sushi restaurants, I ate the sushi as presented. That means no extra soy sauce or wasabi, which was hardly an issue given the soy sauce that the sushi chef had already applied (another reason why the pictures look so appealing).
That also meant accepting the toppings that the chef decided to put on the sushi. Toppings on sushi, as loyal readers will know, caused a lifetime of animosity between me and Sushi of Gari. Fortunately, Katsuei keeps it understated and free of mayonnaise, something Gari probably should take notes on.
In theory, the one small downside for Katsuei is its location, situated in an area of Brooklyn that isn't exactly convenient (even to the subway). The reality however, is that its Park Slope location mean that the owners can afford to provide an outstanding sushi experience at an affordable price. The sushi wasn't the best that I've ever had (the maki left a lot to be desired), but I came away extremely impressed - or at the very least, I came away with some great pictures.
If you have the ability (or live close enough) to make the trip, I highly recommend it.
Prospect Heights. $40+ per person. Omakase Recommended.
So here's the thing about Sushi Katsuei...if you're willing to trek, the trip is more than worth it.