305 E 85th St, New York, NY | Directions 1002840.777133 -73.951669
Mon. - Thu. 5am - 10:45pm;Fri. - Sat. 5am - 11:15pm;Sun. CLOSED
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Yorkville
Upper East Side Gem – Have been to this BYOB sushi haven many times and consistently love the sushi. They do not take reservations and there is usually a wait.. but most definitely worth it. The ambiance is mediocre but that's not why you come here. The Truffle Roll is UNREAL. But honestly, I have never tried a roll I haven't liked there (X'mas, Manhattan, ninja, crazy dragon, pearl etc) I have also had the shumai and grilled mussels to start, which were both excellent.
POKE - Best Sushi – - Don?t let these negative reviews fool you. POKE is by Far the best Sushi on the UES and all of Manhattan. Go to Yelp or MenuPages if you want to read real reviews of this Restaurant.
Best Sushi, Worst Service on UES - Fallen to 1 Star – I have known Poke since BJ and his then pregnant wife opened it on 2nd avenue, years ago. The initial success of the restaurant had everything to do with the warm and inviting atmosphere and very well prepared sushi. Unfortunately, In its new location (much larger, more crowded and terribly noisy) the only characteristic that remains is good sushi (which by the way is a huge commodity in NYC and not the basis for the long term success of a restaurant). To say that the staff is inattentive and rude doesn't give justice to truly disenchanted waiters that ignore because they just don't care. This is almost an act of aggression shared by the entire staff, the 15 year old hostess who can't handle a low flow of customers, the multitude of wait staff that may have a single table yet fail to show themselves for exceedingly long periods of time, or the "manager" that is able to dismiss a politely mentioned concern as readily as an angry quip (I've tried both to check the reaction). An aggressive corkage policy that was implemented in an attempt to turn tables only serves to create negative tensions between customers and staff. It's only through the self-flagellation of multiple visits that I can now turn people away in order to preserve their dining experience. Owners of Poke, do yourselves and the rest of the local dining crowd a favor and dismiss the staff (keeping the sushi chefs) and start fresh, find BJ and make certain he has some hand in managing not only the food but the ambiance. I want this to be a successful and inviting locale but there are miles of improvements to go. Sincerely disappointed and hoping for the return of the original Poke.
Go some place else! – Terrible Experience. 7 of us girls called a month in advance to make a reservation for dinner at Poke. We were told on the phone that it was first come first serve and that we could come in and put our name down the night of our dinner party and we would have no problem getting a table. Well last night on a MONDAY we went to poke and put our name on the list, they said there was a wait and to come back in 20 minutes So we went across the street to Ryan?s Daughter?s Pub and continued to wait till our table was ready. At 7:15 we called and they said come over we are ready for your party at 7:16 we walked across the street and they said sorry we just gave your table away to 4 people. When we asked for the manager the hostess who was probably about 15 years old and so unprofessional said that we would have to wait another hour or two for a table to free up so they could push 3 tables together, to fit 7 people. Another hour or two is RIDICLOUS! Not to mention there was a huge table in the middle of the restaurant with 3 people sitting at it when we asked the manager if we could sit there he said NO they were friends of the owners.. We have been going to Poke for years and always enjoyed the sushi and service- But this place is now on a power trip charging $20 to open up your wine and making you wait around for a table is extremely rude! For great sushi and amazing service try: Cube 63, Sushi Hana, Geisha, Totya, Koi, OR Wasabi Lobby!!
Are you seriously going to charge me to open my wine?? – I have never taken the time to fill one of these out. HOWEVER, after my recent experience I strongly felt the need to relay. After reading great reviews about Poke, my boyfriend and I decided to check it out last night. BEWARE BEFORE YOU GO-- they charge $20 to open your bottles (restaurant is BYOB). After speaking to 3 different people, including the manager (supposedly), the restaurant explained a policy they implemented last year-- in order to increase the table turnover they "allow" one bottle per 3 people to be opened for free. HOWEVER, to open anything over one bottle, they charge a $20 fee. Keep in mind they are already saving money for being a cash only restaurant AND are not paying for a liquor licence. When we questioned the staff, instead of giving us a straight answer, they literally walked away mid sentence and sent someone else over...only for the next person to have less than a satisfactory answer. Making matters worse, we sat down at 9:45-- their kitchen closes at 10:30-- with 45 minutes remaining before they stopped serving AND several empty seats, they still wanted to enforce their policy. The sushi was OK-- however, in a city not lacking japanese restaurants- esp on the upper east side, service is what differentiates one from the next-- and with the way we were treated ON TOP of the staffs inadequate explanation of their policies, we will not be returning to Poke.
Terrible Service, Rules and Attitude. – I would NEVER go back to this restaurant. Ever. The hostess was a total bi*%#, bluntly explaining to me and my friends that there is a two-bottle per table maximum. Oh, and no hard liquor. And to top it off, our regular sized bottle of wine was "soooo big" that it counts as two, so "we're sorry, but you are only allowed that one." To make matters worse, we waited over an hour for a table and they proceeded to seat us AT THE CASH REGISTER. And told us that our other option was to wait another half hour for an actual table with privacy. It goes on. We were then rushed out of our seats, with waiters clearing our plates before we were even finished. A check was placed on the table before we were ready and dirty looks would surely have come our way had we not promptly left this nightmare of a restaurant.
If you are interested in BYO/sushi, try Cube 63 in the LES, they are friendly, take reservations and do not limit your alcohol intake.
Ok sushi, but not worth the noise – We came here for dinner. The wait was not terribly long and the host was accomodating. The restuarant was extremely crowded and extremely loud. It is BYOB and perhaps therefore everyone is drunk. We had essentially no contact with your chef. We attempted to order one piece at a time, but the order backlog was so big that the wait was unbearable. The waitress barely spoke English and kept messing up the order. In the end, we broke down and ordered a bunch of pieces at once. I must say the sushi was better than average, though it certainly could not compare with that in the upper echelon of NY sushi bars. Overall, I thought the decent food was not worth an otherwise unpleasant experience. I would not go back.
Editorial Review by Marcella Veneziale – This Japanese restaurant goes beyond the California-tuna-salmon sushi trinity with inventive specialty rolls that feature fish both inside and outside.
Would never go back! – I've heard so many people rave about this place. So as a Japanese person living in the neighborhood,
I thought I'd give it a try. Their food was just awful, awful, awful!! I was appalled.
Fish was not vey fresh, rice was just squished hard. The sushi was very americanized,
but if you want Americanized sushi, there are so many other choices who serve better food than that place.
Then it occured to me that all my friends who were raving about this place were Americans,
and when I was there, there were no Japanese people eating there other than myself.
If you want authentic sushi in that area, go to Gajumaru or Inase.
Best sushi on the UES for Upper East Siders and all others – I love Poke. Theyre new location is great and looks 100 times better than the old one. They don't take reservations, sushi was fresh and really mouth watering. I get the tuna which was super soft and buttery the way it should be. Service was attentive and polite. The best part for me was the Mochi ice cream, every sushi place needs to have that on the menu!
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