Smack in the middle of midtown, Tamaya has a flexible personality that bodes well with the ultra hip, tired parents, college kids, yuppies and die-hard sushi aficionados. It's informal, relaxing and has its own way of doing things, which is clear when you see your sushi chef wearing a bright green t-shirt that reads, "You looked better on Myspace." The menu is filled with your traditional rice bowls, teriyaki plates and bento boxes, but the spotlight falls on the sashimi, nigiri rolls and specialty rolls such as the Titanic made with avocado, cucumber, shrimp, salmon and tuna topped with its spicy crab mix and the Sweet 16, which is a house specialty made with sweetened egg, deep fried tomatoes, steamed shrimp and topped with sweet mango. A new bar lounge means sushi and sake bombs until last call. Cindy Arora
Insider tip: Sushi chefs will make fish-and crab-free California rolls for children. There is free parking in the back.
Reservations: Recommended for weekends
Payment methods: Amex, Cash, Discover, Mastercard, Visa