Dine Out : Nami Nori

Nami Nori Review, Nami Nori NYC, Nami Nori Sushi, Nami Nori Temaki

There are often places which generate buzz in the New York City dining scene and Nami Nori has been one of them since it opened up last fall. Occupying a bright and open space marked by a decor  style that could be described as modern Scandi meets Japanese, the white and blond wood adorned eatery features a minimal, beachy vibe with counter dining throughout where diners sit on rattan stools. Helmed by three alums of Masa which is known as one of the most expensive restaurants in the world, as well as the most expensive restaurant in NYC, Nami Nori meaning  “to surf” in Japanese, offers a casual temaki bar concept, that focuses on open style sushi hand rolls, only not in the classic cone shape but in a reimagined format of a taco.

Nami Nori Review, Nami Nori NYC, Nami Nori Sushi, Nami Nori Temaki

The menu features a selection of signature temaki ranging from takes on classic options like spicy tuna and salmon avocado to more inventive combinations like spicy sea bass with daikon, perilla, and chojang to a lox and cream cheese inspired, salmon, tomato, onion cream, and chive. They also offer up a roster of vegan temaki including a version of avocado "toast",  as well as options made with eggplant, maitake mushrooms, squash and cucumber. The rolls are priced between $5 and $10 with upchargess for additions like uni, truffle and caviar. In addition, they also serve Japanese-inspired snacks and appetizers, along with a beverage selection of teas, Japanese sodas. beer, sake and wine.

We dined at Nami Nori back in February midweek, arriving 10 minutes before the restaurant opened for lunch. They promptly let us in at noon at which point the space quickly filled up. We were seated around the bend of the first counter area. There were hooks for our coats on the wall behind us as well as hooks for our bags under the counter in front of us. We opted for the $19 lunch special that comes with a choice of edamame, soup or salad and a chef's choice of four temaki. They were happy to accommodate my husband's shellfish allergy. We also got a hot matcha latte and Japanese peach soda.

Nami Nori Review, Nami Nori NYC, Nami Nori Sushi, Nami Nori Temaki

We were served our edamame and vegetable miso soup and before we even finished, the chef placed our first temaki rolls on the counter in front of us. We took in the visually appealing appearance of the taco style open presentation placed in a what looked like a custom crafted wooden block before picking up the yellow tail scallion roll with our hands and enjoying it. The loosely packed rice had just the right bite of vinegar to complement the flavors of the high quality fish and crisp crunch of the delicate nori. The spicy sea bass was a standout for it's delicious combination of taste and texture. We were still hungry after finishing our lunch rolls so we supplemented with a few more. For the record, each roll is roughly 2 -3 bites so they're not really designed for sharing. The tuna poke with crispy shallots and avocado "toast were two other favorites and the spicy tuna was also solid. The service was affable and timely and not too cumbersome considering our servers had to come from behind and from our side because of the counter seating. 5 rolls was about right for each of us but those with bigger appetites might want to order more. The base prices of the rolls aren't that expensive but can add up quickly.

Unfortunately we didn't get to try their Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice because they only serve that dish at dinner but we enjoyed our meal which we found to be creative and tasty. We hope to return eventually. Nami Nori is open for outdoor dining but that is something we don't feel comfortable with and won’t do for a number of factors the most important being health and safety. We don’t want to risk getting sick or get someone else sick. It’s just not worth it to be in the proximity of other people chewing and talking with droplets flying around. Besides there's nothing appealing about dining out on a dirty sidewalk with people, traffic and bugs/birds hovering by. We didn’t even like before the pandemic. They also offer takeout and delivery through Caviar which we will probably take advantage of soon. That is how we’ve been trying to support our local restaurants through this time.

Nami Nori
33 Carmine Street
New York City
$$ - $$$
Nami Nori Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


R's Rue said...

Yum. I'm salivating. Happy Monday.

ALLIE NYC said...

Oh this place looks so fun love the interior design and how much light it gets. The $19 lunch sounds excellent but too bad you were still hungry and had order additional pieces. I have had tacos a few times since I have been out but have not had sushi since March 8th the last day I was in Manhattan for a fashion show.

Yes eating on the sidewalk can be a turn off but on the other hand it is keeping these eateries from going out of business.

Allie of

Emmylou said...

Ooooo....the presentation of the food looks awesome, chingu! As someone trying to eat less (unsuccessfully most days), the serving size sounds about right for me:D And I totally get not wanting to eat on the sidewalk. I've never liked outdoor dining, even pre-pandemic. This weekend, we went to our fave local Korean restaurant and thank God, we were the only ones there so we were able to eat inside. They were doing mostly takeout, so I was happy we didn't have to leave! (I still don't like big crowds even with social distancing.)

Hena Tayeb said...

So many things to miss in this pandemic world.

Omaye said...

Buzzfeed does make you want to try s many restaurants. Japanese cuisine is one of my favourites. Watching Insider and Buzzfeed videos make me want to move to New York because of the food.
The food looks delicious and I'm glad they were able to accommodate your husbands shellfish allergies.
Wishing you the best!


Paola Lauretano said...

Such a cool place, I love the interiors and also the presentation of food!
Kisses, Paola.


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Pilar said...

That's great you enjoyed your meal! I haven't dined in a restaurant since the pandemic began, just like you I didn't feel comfortable eating inside restaurants right now. Have a great week Rowena!

Ivana Split said...

Nami Nori sounds like a fantastic restaurant. I really like the visual presentation of dishes, the sushi served in taco open style looks really good. These dishes do sound lovely, there is nothing better than quality fish served well. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed your meal there. I understand why outdoor dinning doesn't appeal to you and why you would prefer to support the local businesses by ordering food and opting for a take out. One can never be too careful with the pandemic.

The Exclusive Beauty Diary said...

Interior look very nice but food look so delicious. Thank you for sharing.

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Jyoti said...

The interior and the food looks so amazing and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Have a great day!

Dressed With Soul said...

Dear Rowena, it is fantastic how you support restaurants how you did it in this context! Honestly, now I would love to try their food - not only because we have nothing similar here in the Bavarian country side. Now my month is really watering :)
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

Federica Di Nardo said...

What a beautiful space!


Jackie Harrison said...

The place looks welcoming, The food amazing to try especially those rolls omg now I'm hungry.