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Sushi Uo

Note: Sushi Uo closed in December 2010. The owner planned to continue operating it as a private event space. The review below is under chef David Bouhadana, who left the restaurant in February 2009.


Sushi Uo opened several months ago on the Lower East Side. Its peculiar conceit is that the 23-year-old chef, David Bouhadana, is an American from Florida. He has trained at several Japanese restaurants, most recently Morimoto; still, it takes guts to try something like this.

Most restaurants want to be found. Sushi Uo takes the opposite approach. There is no outdoor sign at all, and the entrance is up a flight of stairs that would seem to lead to tenement apartments. If you haven’t done your advance research, you’ve no prayer of stumbling on the place. Once inside, a narrow, dark room greets you, decorated in black. The soundtrack is hip (by my standards), but not excessively loud. If you’re looking for a date spot that serves sushi, look no further.

The menu offers cooked plates from the kitchen ($4–14), à la carte sushi and sashimi (mostly $3–6 per piece), and rolls ($6–11). Combination platters range from $19–46. These are good prices for sushi in Manhattan. We had an abundance of food for $85, and that included two orders of Fatty Tuna ($8 ea.).

There were also a couple of extras: a terrific potato and spinach soup served in a shot glass as an amuse-bouche, and a large helping of boiled edamame (normally $4). But beyond that there was very little to rush back for. The most expensive dish we had, a Mixed Tempura ($11.50), was pedestrian, but we loved the Wasabi Gnocchi ($9.50). The various sushi, sashimi, and rolls were well made, but you’ll find something comparable in most neighborhoods.

Sushi Uo (151 Rivington Street between Clinton & Suffolk Streets, Lower East Side)

Food: *
Service: *
Ambiance: *½
Overall: *

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