Photo by Michael Nagle
1557 2nd Avenue
(between 80th & 81st Streets)
New York, NY 10075
"All You Can Eat" is somewhat of an appetite-exhilarating term for hungry diners. Add "sushi" to the equation and we're tying our bibs, snapping our chopsticks and licking our lips in ravenous anticipation for a gloriously indulgent feast of fish, care-free in nature and decadent in taste.
Upon a recent visit to Yuka Sushi, the Joonbug team learned just how unsettling an AYCE atmosphere can be.
You walk in, you sit down and right away are asked if you would like to eat off of the AYCE menu. You say yes, naturally, because you are a sushi-fiend (I'm projecting) and you need that eel and salmon fix, and you need it now. "Sure," you say, eyeing up the menu. You're going all-out, you're ordering a boat-load and you're not thinking twice because it's AYCE and only costs $20 a person.
And then it hits you: a curiously shiny, laminated piece of paper catches your eye from underneath the glass of your table. What is it? Does that say "rules"? RULES? What is this, kickball? No, it's AYCE: Yuka-style, and all of you frisky sushi-enthusiasts need to tame yourselves, reason with your hunger, and learn some obedience or this could turn into a knock-down drag-out SUSHI BLOODBATH.
No, not literally.
Luckily for you all, we are passing the rules along so you can be fully prepared if you're ever to happen upon this place.
- You have two hours to order and eat. This may seem reasonable, but after experiencing a frustrating 45 minute wait for our order, the Joonbug team would like you to keep this in mind.
- You may not leave anything on your plate, or you'll be charged. This means no rice, no ginger, no seaweed - nothing. Should your belly betray you and you just can't fit that last chopstick-full in your mouth, you could be charged anywhere from $1.50-$2 for it. If you're very overzealous with your order, you may end up watching that $20 fixed price start to situate itself in the 30s.
- No stealing food from another's plate. They say steal, we say share. Semantics. Say your buddy is struggling over that last yellow tail piece and you want to hero it out for him by sinking that baby in your trap. Well guess what? If your waiter catches you, you could end up paying an additional AYCE $20 fee, plus whatever else your damsel buddy had ordered. My advice: tell your friend to sack up. It's every man for himself out here.
- No tipping. Really, don't tip. Not even to be nice, not even to be obnoxious. They won't take it. Instead, they automatically apply a management fee to your bill.
- Can't take home. Okay, FINE then.
It should also be noted that there is a penalty fee for breaking any of these rules. Expect to be charged $5 if you suck at walking on the wild side.
But honestly - snark, rules and shady 45 minute waits aside - the sushi was good, was fresh, and was worth the experience. It turned a regular sushi sit-down into an all-out race against the clock ("15 SECONDS, MACGRUBER!"), which, you know, was something different. So if you're sushi routine has gotten stale, give Yuka a try. But be strategic! All you can eat there means ... you have to eat it all.