Tanoshi used to genuinely be a far walk from any train, but now this sushi restaurant on the Upper East Side is one of the best excuses to take advantage of the newish 72nd Street Q station. The team who has taken over for former head chef Toshio Oguma is continuing his tradition of offering exceptional sushi at a relatively reasonable price.
When you get here, you might be confused because there are two different narrow dining rooms that look like mirror images of each other. That’s because this place is built around the entrance of a residential hallway. As soon as you sit down, you’ll be asked if you need glassware—this place is BYOB, and that’s a big part of why we like it. For $108, you get a small starter, 10 pieces of nigiri, tuna maki, and a spicy salmon hand roll. The rice here is (intentionally) looser than most places, so you should eat with your hands, or you’ll probably make a mess.
The space at Tanoshi is tight, but as you get into your omakase, you’ll quickly forget about your surroundings. Out of all the pieces we’ve tried here, the miso-marinated black sable and the amberjack with a tiny dollop of spicy sauce stood out the most. We encourage you to order at least one of the add-ons, which are displayed via placards on the wall. You might see shad or crab brain, but if the slightly torched and fatty black throat is available, that should be the first extra piece you try.
For $108, the omakase includes fish you might find familiar (bluefin tuna, salmon, and yellowtail) as well as pieces that combine multiple things (such as one with scallop, chopped toro, and tempura crunchies). We especially like how the salmon is a little charred and seasoned with yuzu. The pace is pretty quick, so your server will be asking if you want additional pieces after about an hour. The BYOB policy, which almost everyone here takes advantage of, makes the room noticeably more lively around 20 minutes into your meal. Don't be surprised if you make a new friend or two.