Upon opening Sushi Yasu’s front door, a waft of seafood immediately jumps out into the Forest Hills air. Call it honesty in advertising, because this small storefront on Yellowstone Boulevard serves nothing but Japanese-style fish dishes. Many, many Japanese-style fish dishes.
There’s no meat on the menu.
Sushi, sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish), and nigiri (thinly sliced raw fish on a small rice ball) can be ordered a la carte. Options include eel or smelt roe ($3 per piece), mackerel, salmon, octopus, shrimp, squid, tuna or yellowtail ($3.25), and eel or salmon roe ($3.50). At the expensive extremes are king crab ($7.50) and imitation crab ($2.)
The rolls are a small jump in price. The Umeshi Roll, pickled plum with Japanese mint leaf, costs $3.50, while the California Roll, imitation crab with cucumber and avocado, is $4, and the Salmon Skin Roll, salmon skin with cucumber bonito flakes and smelt fish roe, carries a $6.50 charge. For those with spicy palettes, the Salmon Roll, salmon with avocado, smelt roe and a special sauce, costs $5.50. For the same price, substitute salmon for tuna or try the Yellowstone Roll, which has tempura (slightly fried) fish with cucumber and the special sauce.
On the next level, the Marilyn Monroe Roll ($13.50) contains imitation crab and avocado with scallops. The Caterpillar Roll ($13.50) has eel and cucumber with sliced avocado, and the Rainbow Roll ($14.95) features more imitation crab with tuna and smelt roe.
There are three possible side orders — green salad, seaweed salad and miso soup – and they all cost $3.50. Meanwhile, Sushi Yasu charges for extra wasabi, smelt roe and ginger.
The combination platters come with miso soup or salad. The Sushi Regular (seven pieces of assorted nigiri and one California roll) costs $22.95. For and extra $5, the hosts add two more pieces of nigiri and switch the California roll with a tuna roll. The Sushi for Two entrée is $53.95.
The other offering is Chirashi, thinly sliced assorted raw fish on a bed of rice. It costs $29.95.
Just like in the eateries in the Land of the Rising Sun, there is a sushi bar in the middle of the restaurant, where patrons sit side by side and watch the chefs prepare their meals. For a $20 minimum, patrons can fill their bellies with whatever they can talk the chefs into making.
Yasu is a small, dense town in Japan's Fukuoka prefecture. Sushi Yasu's ambiance is appropriate. There is not much space, and many people during busy hours. Small square tables are accompanied by square chairs with wicker backs. Faux bamboo and real mirrors are everywhere, and everybody eats with chopsticks.
Address: 71-45 Yellowstone Blvd. Phone: 718-544-0942.
Prices: $10-$30 for a complete meal, depending on the customer’s appetite.
Hours: Monday, Thursday, Wednesday and Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Closed.
Suggestion: The fish is fresh caught, fresh bought and fresh wrought. The early eaters get the best taste.