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“Yujin-- Closed”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Asian East Village Moderate Good

Japonica, an old standard for decent sushi, has for years occupied the corner of 12th Street and University Place with an air of defiance to any other Japanese restaurant to survive in its immediate radius. Indeed, if Japonica is Goliath, Davey is Yujin, a sleek, inviting, seaweed toned space, serving not only supple, silky slices of sushi and sashimi, but delicious maki that can actually be consumed by a person without a circus performer’s mouth. My favorite was the Lobster Roll ($14), nicely plumped with sweet chunks of lobster, diced cucumber and mango, with a feisty red pepper dipping sauce. Moving beyond the realm of sushi, the chef, Eiji Takase, who recently cooked at SushiSamba, also offers tables filled with pretty, lithe women and sexy chiseled men in search of protein to feed their Atkins’ addictions his distinctive and scrumptious brand of Japanese-American cuisine, like pillowy steamed rock shrimp dumplings that float in a sweet, slightly chile-spiked corn bisque ($12). Proper etiquette demands that you tip the bowl towards your mouth to lap up every last drop from the bowl. Serious plate cleaning is also called for with a brilliant tuna tartar with lime ginger salt, shiso, topped with a head of caviar ($14). Main courses like the black sea bass cooked sugiita yaki style ($24), over a thin plank of cedar wood, is topped with a red miso sauce that gives the sweet, delicate fish a rich, earthy base note. Davey may not conquer Goliath, but here’s to hoping they can happily co-exist.


Yujin, 24 East 12th Street (b/w University Place and Fifth Avenue), 212-924-4283


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