Beyond Sushi [Click the photo above to go to Beyond Sushi’s website]
229 East 14th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue) New York, 10003
After attempting to get back on track with the gym, I figured I could try on and stay on track with food as well…I could try.
I decided to try this vegan/vegetarian sushi joint in Gramercy with my cousin. The restaurant is supa dupa small, so we figured we’d pick it up, along with some Trader Joe wine (around the corner!) and watch the Presidential Debate/Yankee game (I mean pay partial attention).
We were supposed to meet at 8, but my stomach felt that 8 was too late after the gym, and I was ready at 7:30, so I called to say I was on my way downtown and I’d meet her at the restaurant.
I brought my water bottle in the hope it would curb my appetite while we waited…eh.
I arrived first and decided to just stand on line instead of waiting outside for my cousin to arrive. Even though there is minimial seating, there is still seating, so while I waited on line to order, I watched these colorful vegetable sushi rolls get gobbled up two feet away from me. It was absolute torture.
The restaurant has pictures of the sushi rolls on the wall, and I’m pretty sure a group of diners thought I was grilling them when I was really just hardcorely staring at a piece of avocado sushi above their heads.
“We should probably get up so other people can sit,” I hear them say as they made awkward side glances at me.
This is so embarrassing. I wanted to scream, “don’t do it for me! I’m getting it to go! I’m just very hungry, and staring at sushi above your head,” but instead I buried my face into my scarf, and awkwardly turned around pretending to examine the beverages, “I’ve never seen lemonade before, what’s this?”
My cousin arrives, and we have to decide on rolls. However, she tends to ramble a bit, so we didn’t get right down to business.
“I just came from Trader Joe’s…You like rose right? I remember us drinking that last time. I was going to get this other wine that I loved, and I thought it was such a find, but when I went to get it, it was sold out, so it turns out other people like it too, so I got this one instead. I hope you like it….” I love her, but I mean you could give me grape juice and call it wine.
Rolls come in sets of 8, and even though this is common, whenever sushi comes with more than 6 pieces, I feel like I won the lottery, JACKPOTTTT!
“Should we get 2 or 3?”
“I’m so hungry!”
“I want one of these lettuce wraps. Those look good.”
“Me too, definitely one of those.”
“We could get 3 rolls and not finish them.”
“We’ll probably finish them if we get them.”
“Let’s just do it. It’s healthy anyway.”
Final decision: 3 rolls, and a lettuce wrap.
It’s our turn at the counter. They also make the sushi in front of you, so it was just a closer view of the food when we got up there.
“We will have the nutty buddy, spicy mango roll, the pickle me roll, and the green machine.”
The cashier says the green machine isn’t his favorite. Oh dear God no! Did we pick the wrong roll??
We switch out the green machine for the roll of the month, the October roll (very creative).
Waiting for the rolls were momentary torture. I heavily considered purchasing a bag of chips while we waited, but I didn’t, mostly because my cousin wasn’t into the idea, and I only wanted to do it if we were on the same page about it.
The to-go bag is placed in our hands and I’m practically racing to her apartment. As we’re maybe 20 feet from her apartment a biker almost gets run over by a cabdriver.
He starts punching the front of the cab, “hey watch where you’re going! Asshole!”
The cabdriver then pulls over, and they start screaming in each other’s faces.
I want nothing to do with this, this is just something else standing in the way of food going in my mouth. As I start walking I realize my cousin is riveted, and just staring.
I am so evil.
We get to the apartment and I begin unloading our food as fast as possible so I can take the pictures before we chow down. My cousin was attempting to make some brussel sprout dish before she met me, so I hear her scream something about how she’s gonna chop up some shallots and refrigerate the wine…blah blah blah. Food’s in front of me…
She walks back into the living room, and I have already divided our food up like a psycho into different containers.
“Here are yours. Here are mine.”
“Do you mind if I put the tv on?” Do people sit in a living room without the tv on? This is a foreign concept to me. I truly have no idea what she is talking about.
“Why wouldn’t you put the tv on?”
Debate is put on, after we peruse the channels, RHONJ reunion is on again. I’ve seen it a 100 times, and every time I’m riveted. I can’t stop watching.
“I don’t watch,” my cousin informs me, “but we can still watch if you want.”
The answer is yes, yes I do. I want to see Teresa point and scream. I want to stare at Melissa’s face and figure what work exactly she has gotten done, and wonder why Caroline’s cheeks sag the way they do. Yes, yes, please watch.
“Ok, maybe we’ll watch if there isn’t anything else on!”
My cousin sporadically (I hope not sporadically!) gets up to check the brussel sprouts and wine, while I try to slow my pace down on the rolls, which were amazing. I can hear her screaming from the kitchen.
“Did I tell you how I got this truffle olive oil in Croatia.”
“Yeah! You told me already!”
“Well, I wanted to get more of it…Here are the shelves I want to put up in the kitchen, because I don’t have room for anything, but we haven’t put them up yet. I hate the way it looks right now. I don’t have room.”
Straining to hear her I see a fish tank in the corner of her apartment.
“Hey, do you have fish?”
“It’s actually a frog. His name is Jerry, he’s very friendly. We originally had two but the other one just died. We’re not sure if Jerry killed him.”
The Nutty Buddy lettuce wrap was a little miracle wrapped in lettuce. “This is so good! Do you want some of the sauce.” The sauces come on the side in little tubes, which look a little medical. I’d say it’s the ugliest thing about this restaurant. It’s weird. It has no top, and just a little hole at the top where it squirts out. I am also 13 years old and see how that sentence might sound dirty, but it’s what it looks like.
My favorite roll was the pickled roll with avocado on top. One of the rolls came with a sauce that looked identical to spicy mayo, which was really toasted cayenne sauce. It doesn’t even taste like spicy mayo, and is way healthier, but it feels like a splurge, so you trick your body into thinking you’re not depriving yourself. I sort of fell for it.
We finish the food, and I’m sipping on my wine on the couch. “I sort of want frozen yogurt.”
“Should we get some? I don’t need it, but I’m not opposed to it.”
“No, I shouldn’t. I’ve been getting 16 Handles a lot lately.”
“You could get it on the way home.”
The thought of not going straight home so I could sit alone in my apartment and eat frozen yogurt sounds so sad, “No, I’m good.”
“What channel is the Yankee game on?” I did wear my Yankee shirt, Granderson, and turned it on just in time to watch him pop a ball right up in the air, while at bat. That was stupid. [Sports reference completed for the blog]
My cousin’s husband walks in just as her brussel sprout dish is completed. What timing!
“Did you bring dessert?” I ask.
“Hummus.” Ugh, he’s Israeli. Shut up.
As I get up to try some brussel sprouts my cousin starts showing me where her shelves are going to go, and shows me how she painted her entire fridge to act as a 6 foot chalkboard.
“But doesn’t it get dusty with food?”
“I don’t know, but it was so ugly before.”
“Look, I meant to write tomatoes, but I got distracted and wrote potatoes.”
Whatever, I’m doodling on your refrigerator.
“Ok! I think I need to go home.”
“Ok! Write something nice about tonight!” Ok.
Beyond Sushi (interior)
Since the restaurant is so small, I just wanted to give everyone an idea of why I didn’t eat there.
Beyond Sushi (Nutty Buddy: 8 Inch Wrap Buckwheat noodles, crushed peanuts, cilantro, jalapeño peanut butter, avocado, sesame oil, carrots, baked tofu and romaine. Served with Sweet Soy Mirin Sauce)
Look at that deliciousness! It was the first item of food I took a bite out of it, and it was hard for me to let go of it. They give you the soy sauce on the side so I continued to dab the wrap with it after I took a bite.
Octoberroll (top): 8 Pieces Black Rice, Roasted Kabocha Squash, Avocado & Baby Arugula, Charred Carrot, Mint & Lemon Zest Topping (Charred LIVE). Topped with Roasted Harissa- Pumpkin Seed Purée.
Spicy Mango roll (bottom): 8 pieces Black Rice – Avocado – Mango – Cucumber – Spicy Veggie. Served with Toasted Cayenne Sauce.)
They were both great! The Spicy mango sort of looks like tuna for some weird reason. I’m also immune to spicy foods so I didn’t think it was that spicy.
Beyond Sushi (Pickle Me: 8 pieces Six Grain Rice – Gobo – Carrot – Pickled Daikon – Avocado. Served withCarrot Ginger Sauce)
I loved it! The pickled veggies were crunchy and salty, and the avocado was sweet and creamy. So good!
My cousin’s awesome chalkboard fridge. This is what I did when I finished all my food, the debate got boring, and the Yankees sucked ass.
Please note that it says potato/tomato and also looks like the Paragraph symbol when editing papers.