I dined with two different friends this week, and for several conspiring reasons ended up at Nobu and Tsushima. They couldn't be more different, and although I enjoyed both meals very much, I am almost certain to return to Tsushima for a 4th time, and might not give Nobu a second try.
Nobu http://www.myriadrestaurantgroup.com/nobu57/index.html, had delicious food, creatively prepared, but its rituals are arcane and seem to get in the way. The menu and pricing is confusing and the portions can be ridiculous. I ate almost every morning in Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market when I visited Japan last year. I ate like a king for the price of a 1/2-ounce Toro appetizer at Nobu. While the small Tsukiji restaurant was nothing much to look at, and I had only unadorned sashimi, I never felt confused or uncomfortable even thought the staff knew absolutely no English. Not a word. At Nobu, I felt both emotions throughout. In Tokyo, I simply rattled off the fish names I knew, and the fish appeared with a deferential "Hai". At Nobu, any question, was greeted with a kind of "you poor thing, let me help you" look. Some info on Tsukiji can be found at: http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/youkoso/about_e.htm. The fish market itself is a wholesale market, but great sashimi is to found nearby in all directions.Tsushima, which does not have a website is just outstanding. Please don't order a California roll here; I don't think they would know how to accommodate you. This is like going to a Tapas bar, except, of course, the menu items are Japanese. There is a seasonal menu for the month. I would suggest ordering about 6 or 7 dishes off this menu - you just can't go wrong. Recent examples include BBQ Abalone, Grilled Pork, and Spanish mackerel. Tsushima, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=141+East+47th+street,+new+york,+ny, (212) 207-1938