On a Roll.

Housekeeping Note: This is the first in a series about my perennial-favorite New York eats.

I’m not sure what I did before Ki Sushi.

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I have vague recollections of spending way too much money at Haru for fish that wasn’t nearly as tasty, of stopping in at Yama for good rolls but slab-like sashimi, and, when I lived in Park Slope, of ordering mediocre takeout from Kiku, just to get a quick fix. The really good places have always been out of my price range, but I tried everything else—Manhattan hole-in-the-wall spots, the fancier joints aimed at the Midtown business luncher—and nothing before or since has measured up to Ki.

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For the Sunday-night takeout spread pictured above, I opted for the Pikachu roll (directly above; $13): impeccably fresh tuna, salmon and yellowtail, nestled with lightly fried shrimp tempura and melt-in-your-mouth avocado and wrapped in marbled seaweed; and the Volcano roll (below; $14): chunks of sea scallop mixed with a spicy, crunchy sauce and paired with that same avocado, then topped with a thin layer of sweet shrimp and the juicy pop of yuzu tobiko.

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Another solid choice is the Fantastic roll (below; $12), which gussies up classic crunchy, spicy tuna with slices of salmon, yellowtail, and avocado, as well as a healthy sprinkle of jalapeño-flavored tobiko.

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I also love the new(ish) TNT Lover roll (below; $14): chopped toro with tempura flakes and asparagus, topped with tuna and crunchy garlic flakes and drizzled with a decadent truffle-soy sauce. It’s a little bit of gilding the lily, in the most delicious way.

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The appetizers are solid: the gyoza and shumai are fairly standard, as is the seaweed salad, but where Ki truly excels is at its renditions of now-classic Japanese-fusion plates, such as a version of the yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño and yuzu-soy sauce ($12) made famous at Nobu back in the day.

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Oh, and the lunch special isn’t half-bad either. The sashimi bento box ($13) is extremely generous: It comes with a full-sized miso soup and salad, two shumai, eight pieces of fish, a pile of rice and a California roll. I can’t stand that fake crab stuff, so I usually cough up an extra buck or two and sub in a different type of roll.

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It’s kind of embarrassing to admit how often I stop in or order carry-out from Ki, so I’m not going to; trust me, though, it’s pretty frequently. I will say that I haven’t had a bad meal yet, and that I always feel like I’ve spent my money well.

That’s the key. There aren’t many restaurants I’d describe that way, but there are a few more that I’ll be sharing with you, so stay tuned.

Ki Sushi
122 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY
718-935-0575
ki-sushi.com

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2 thoughts on “On a Roll.

  1. Aunt Jill says:

    And have I got a place for you next time you are in Hershey! Just went Friday night- best sushi in these parts, PLUS dim sum:-) And the cart!! Yum…

  2. Matt says:

    You are making me a bit jealous. Ki is probably some of the best sushi I can remember from Brooklyn. All I’ve really had in Portland is conveyor belt style and that’s not even close.

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