When a beloved hole-in-the-wall upgrades a bigger, shinier location, it’s always anxiety-provoking. Will the place be as good as before? In the case of Taro Sushi, the anxiety was doubled–the restaurant seemed to be subtly changing for a while, starting when its amazing deal of an omakase changed from a traditional, seemingly improvised two-pieces-of-sushi at a time to a set sequence that almost always arrived in big batches, even at the sushi counter. But whenever chef Sano was behind the bar, you were still assured of exemplary sushi at extremely fair prices.
So when the restaurant moved from its tiny, scruffy spot to a slicker space a few blocks away, I wondered if the prices had gone up, and if chef Sano would still be behind the bar.
But thankfully, on Friday night, there was chef Sano smiling in his mild way while he carefully sliced fish, and the prices on the menu had not gone up discernibly. The only side effect from the move was that the waitstaff was very harried and up orders, something that will surely get smoothed out as time passes.
We ordered, among other things, that day’s special of an assortment of hikarimono ($11.50), which means “shining things,” fish with their silvery skins left on. In this case, the set included horse mackerel, mackerel, sardine, and butter fish. There were subtle differences in taste and texture between them, but that all had that strong, clean, oily fish savor. And I’ve always admired Taro’s loose-but-sticky rice, in which each grain is distinct and at body temperature.
244 Flatbush Avenue