On the way to our apartment near Gramercy Park in Manhattan after a long day of running pre-Christmas errands and fighting the midtown tourist crowds, James and I stopped in Yama, the venerable sushi restaurant on Irving Place.
Since we arrived before 6pm, we were seated immediately at a comfy corner table. Our server attended us lovingly and our sushi and sake arrived very quickly. We ordered inventive and huge rolls: salmon with chives and spicy mayonnaise; tuna and yellowtail with avocado; and the "crispy shrimpy," which is tuna with shrimp and little tempura flakes tucked inside. Each roll looked delectable and the fish broadcasted its freshness. The fish was tender, buttery, and clean tasting. Perhaps the rolls do play to Americans' focus on size. Nevermind.
While I love the sushi joint closer to our apartment, and I attest it is better than average, Yama was in a different class and reminded me of how important texture is in raw fish. It occurs to me the East 40s in Manhattan is a bit of a Little Tokyo, and I intend to try some of those places soon.