What’s that? You’ve never heard of Tanoshi? No sh*t. It’s on 73rd and York. I had no idea that there were people on this part of the island, let alone noteworthy restaurants. In my mind, this neighborhood is basically a hospital and a bunch of empty apartments that you see on Craigslist for $1400 a month. Is that a murphy bed in that photo? Yes it is. Welcome to New York, kid. But ask any of your sushi-obsessed friends, and they’ll tell you - Tanoshi is the real deal.
That’s actually exactly the story that led us to Tanoshi Sushi. One of our own omakase-obsessed friends was raving about it a few weeks ago, and then it seemed like suddenly everyone we know was trying to get a reservation. And getting a reservation is no easy task. Tanoshi is only ten seats around a counter, and they do three seatings a night. It used to be that you had to come to the restaurant at 1pm to put your name on the list. Now they have a phone, but it’s still a tough situation. You can only book a week in advance, and if you show up in person, you should be prepared to possibly slap fight someone for a place in line. It’s competitive. And worth it.
Luckily it didn’t come to fisticuffs for us to eat here. Our friend’s wife stopped by on a recent afternoon to secure us some seats, and we got in for the 7:30pm round. After a full omakase meal with some appetizers and a few other extras thrown in, we’re happy to tell you that Tanoshi is as good as people say it is. This is one of the best sushi experiences you can find in New York City, and it comes at a better price than all of its contemporaries. The basic omakase is usually somewhere in the $50 range, and even after you upgrade to the “special” version with a few extra pieces, you’re still getting out of here for significantly less money than you would at Seki, Gari, or Sasabune. It also helps that it’s BYOS (bring your own sake).
Ultimately, Tanoshi is a restaurant that should be at the top of your Hit List, especially if you’re one of those sushi obsessives we keep mentioning. We’re betting you’ll like this dingy little hole in the wall more than whatever your current overpriced go-to spot is. You may even find yourself coming up to York Avenue every once in a while just to eat here. Maybe you should scope out some real estate while you’re at it. We saw an alcove studio nearby on CitiHabitats that looked pretty appealing. I think it even comes with a futon.
This story will be best told in photos. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll see at Tanoshi.