Roll with it: Hyde Park sushi shops provide wide variety of flavors

Ella Beiser , Assistant Editor

Walking down 53rd Street, there are many sushi restaurants to choose from. Sushi came to the United States in the early 1900s and since then, the traditional Japanese dish has been tailored to fit the American palette.

Sushi is traditionally made with seaweed (nori) surrounding short grain white rice dipped in rice vinegar. This roll is filled with fish or vegetables. American sushi chefs often flip the sushi inside out to have the rice outside of the seaweed. Additionally, American sushi is generally flavorful and colorful.

Sushi chefs train for years at with instructors to master preparing a roll of sushi.

Generally, an apprentice spends five years working under the itamae until receiving real responsibilities in the kitchen.



Address: 1601 E. 55th St.

Item: Spider roll

Kikuya offers full meals, sushi and mochi ice cream for dessert. 

Paper cranes adorn the walls and hang from the ceiling as quiet music plays in the background giving the restaurant a cozy atmosphere.

They offer a wide variety of rolls, ranging from a simple Avocado Maki Roll to a Philadelphia Maki Roll.

The prices for the sushi vary from $1.50 to $13.95. The service is quick and the food arranged neatly on a small, ceramic platter.

The flavors in the Alaskan roll are balanced nicely and the crab tastes fresh.

However, Kikuya offers fewer sushi options than the other two restaurants.


The Sit Down Cafe

Address: 1312 E. 53rd St.

Item: Alaskan roll

While the other restaurants exclusively serve Japanese dishes, the Sit Down Cafe menu includes items including from pizza, sandwiches, and soup. The sushi is artistically displayed and well put together. The temperature in the Alaskan roll adds a surprising, pleasant crunch to the otherwise mostly creamy filling.

However, there is a quiet chatter of voices and soft lull of music that adds a warm energy to the room, making the atmosphere similar to that of a coffee shop. While sushi may not be the restaurant’s sole focus, it is surprisingly tasty and well prepared.

Additionally, the cost and amount of sushi is similar to that of Kikuya.



Address: 1453 E. 53rd St.

Item: Red Hot maki roll

The overall quality of the fish and sushi was the best at Hiro Sushi and Desserts Bar. 

However the prices tended to be a couple dollars higher compared to the other two restaurants.

The Red Hot maki roll was quite spicy and there was a distinct taste of tuna which added an ocean flavor to the entire dish.

Hiro opened Sept. 28 and is situated just over two blocks from The Sit Down Cafe and Sushi Bar.

The color-changing lights and TVs in the restaurant were overwhelming.

That, combined with the noisy pop music, made for a slightly uncomfortable experience.