This part of Gramercy is surprisingly barren when it comes to useful, everyday restaurant options. Most eating establishments around these parts are either really expensive, really touristy, or sort of awful. When it comes to regular places that you can eat at semi-frequently, the choices are few. L'Express always seems to come in handy for any occasion. The burger at Molly's is excellent. Posto and Vezzo get it done for thin crust pizza enthusiasts, and Chinese delivery from The Cottage is serviceable. There's an answer for your sushi cravings as well, and that would be The Loop.
We discovered The Loop over a year ago thanks to a tip from one of our readers, and have been eating here regularly ever since. This place is the ideal neighborhood sushi delivery spot, but also offers a clean, friendly dine in environment if you're the type who enjoys eating spicy tuna rolls outside of your apartment. The Loop specializes in big, heavy handed roll creations named after everyone from Bob Dylan to the Yankees, so this is definitely not somewhere you bring your sushi purist friend. For instance, the 3rd Avenue roll consists of crunchy spicy white tuna, avocado topped with more tuna, salmon, yellowtail, lemon, cilantro, tobiko, and yuzu miso...and maybe some Pop Rocks. The entire menu is basically stacks on stacks on stacks of raw fish, and a whole bunch of ridiculous sauces and toppings. We'd love to hate it, but it's all pretty damn good.
Photo Credit: Nick Solares/Serious Eats
Food RundownCrispy Rice Topped With Spicy Tuna
It's tempting, but don't do it. Their crispy rice isn't as good as we'd hoped it'd be, and we got suckered in three times now thinking it'd be better the next time. It's such a hard item NOT to order.Tuna Or Salmon Pizza
Everything you'd want it to be and more - thin strips of fish on an over-sized, sliced up tortilla with sweet onion, grape tomato, jalapeño, masago, and creole sauce. It's spicy, it's crunchy and it's addicting. Pro tip: ask them to combine both the salmon and the tuna on one pizza. You win.Yellowtail Jalapeño
Another appetizer we've found ourselves ordering time after time. It's your typical yellowtail, jalapeño, and yuzu dish, and a good one at that.Wakame Cucumber Salad
They cover the basics well here, and the cucumber salad with plum paste and soy vinaigrette is another solid option we love ordering alongside our monster rolls. More on that below.John Lennon Roll
One of our favorites. Eel and cucumber is a good indication for the overall quality of a sushi joint, and The Loop passes with flying colors. Literally. They top this with mango and tobiko for color. Order it.Madagaskar Roll
Spicy scallop, avocado, and tempura flakes, wrapped around spicy tuna and rice cracker bits with soy paper. Crazy, delicious, and one of our regular orders. Just be prepared, there's a reason why this roll is $15 - it's massive.Big Mac Roll
The Loop's signature roll. It's a big layered sandwich, somewhat resembling a big mac, and filled with spicy tuna, tempura flakes, snow crab, avocado, and tobiko with sweet sauce. This one is a lot better in the restaurant than it is via delivery, as it becomes a hot globby mess in transit.Angry Blue Crab Roll
Different, fun, and spicy. If you like crab, this one is the roll for you. Loop Dynamite Roll
Another favorite. Spicy tuna and yellowtail, topped with snow crab and crunch.Shrek Roll
Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, snow crab, shrimp, and masago, wrapped with green soy paper and topped with miso sauce. Jesus.Spicy Tuna Sandwich Roll
Tuna, avocado, bonito flakes, and tobiko glazed with sweet sauce, in sandwich form. You heard me.Spice Girl Roll
That's right, a roll named after the Spice Girls. Crunchy snow crab and avocado, wrapped around seared tuna, tobiko, and topped with honey wasabi sauce. Very popular with gay men and women over 30.