Any devout sushi eater can speak of the rewards that come with ordering a la carte - selecting every individual piece to the heart's desire, parceled out in however many rounds you choose and consumed in some specific, often ritualistic, order. But what's the last piece in your ideal sushi dinner? The moment that should send you and your tongue home with a lasting memory. The finale to which all previous pieces have been building.
The final taste, as I like to call it. For me, nothing caps off a sushi meal quite like a succulent piece of sea urchin, and no restaurant justifies my love for the urchin more than Sato (98-12 Queens Blvd., Rego Park, Queens, NY). There are places that have better sushi not many, but a scant few, but no sushi restaurant does sea urchin as well as Sato.
You know how divine it gets - that ocean fresh aura, the slightly firm yet slightly melted texture, the initially bitter but ultimately savory taste. There's no other food in this world quite like sea urchin and when it's at its best, there's no piece of sushi as good.
That's why it's always my closing salvo at Sato. So next time you're in the mood for world class sea urchin or you've got a hankering for top notch sushi (like I said, the rest of the menu is no slouch), take a jaunt down to Sato.
Other highlight items: Yellowtail Tartar is the perfect starter dish; the tempura and udon noodles will satisfy the uninitiated; the striped bass and Spanish mackerel are both sublime; and the Hot White roll is an absolute must.