I suppose that it was inevitable; as Manhattan became more populated (and more expensive), people would inevitably begin to gentrify Harlem. Gentrification means a lot of different things to different people, but to me it means “a crapload of sushi restaurants have opened up” (not sure that one’s in the Oxford dictionary).
As a decent sushi restaurant in Harlem, Jado was bound to generate interest, and it was with that in mind that I saddled up and journeyed north of the wall to see what all the hype is about.
Jado is an open concept restaurant, with a setup that caters more to families and groups; Mrs. Sushi Legend and I actually sat in a six person booth, which was about as romantic as you might expect. That said, I was specifically impressed by the menu; as readers of my “solid signs/pet peeves” might know, a menu filled with unique and interesting fish is always a good sign. Jado, for instance, had Uni from Hokkaido and Boston (pictured right), Ise Ebi (spiny lobster pictured below right) and Barracuda (pictured below that on the right).
The food is good – not great. The sushi chef is ex of Sushi Yasaka, a popular sushi restaurant that I enjoyed about 40 blocks south. I expected more from the rice; unfortunately, it was ran stale and lacked essential vinegar (or at least the taste of vinegar). The maki overdoes the rice, with our hamachi being barely noticeable.
That said, the fish itself is fresh, and – most importantly – it’s unique. Seriously, if you’re a sushi restaurant and want a good review from me, just offer some random fish that I’ve never tried before.
The Atmosphere – as I touched on before – is much more family oriented. The sushi bar is nice, but it’s right in the open. Personally, I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m family style dining when eating sushi – I prefer something more intimate. But again, that’s just me. That being said, the service we received was friendly without being pushy, and most importantly – knowledgeable about the menu.
Would I make a special trip to Jado again? Unlikely. But if you’re in the area and looking for something new to try for your family, or to experience some new fish, I would recommend.