Syun is the kind of place that you would never find if it weren't for those two friends you have with good taste. You know the type...the classy couple that knows what it means for wine to have a "nose?" They're the couple you invite for a night out on the town because you know you'll end up at a good hot spot, but forget about them when you're looking for accompaniment on a quiet night at home.
So MY classy and slightly pretentious friends invited my boyfriend and me to Syun and we've been back several times. It's half submerged in the ground under some innocuous building that I've never paid any attention to. The ambiance is that of a kitschy beach café with bottles of sake lined up on the wall like you used to do in your college dorm--only I doubt it was sake back then.
I've been told that Syun's non-sushi dishes are fabulous...unfortunately my sushi obsession does not allow me to order them. I've read about them on the lovely menu bound onto a piece of wood by some elastic and a chopstick. I've even smelled them at the table next to me, but can't quiet those authoritative voices in my head chanting "sushi...sushi...SUSHI!" So a sushi review is what you're getting, although I highly recommend you smell everything else on the menu.
My boyfriend and I have attempted to become sushi connoisseurs over the past year. We went to a really nice sushi restaurant in New York just to find out what good sushi is supposed to taste like...and discovered that Syun is VERY good sushi. We've learned to know what tastes fresh and what tastes not so fresh, how the rice is supposed to feel on your tongue, and how the flavors are supposed to mix in your mouth in perfect proportions. I repeat--Syun is very good sushi.
The sake is nice. I can't lie and tell you I know what good sake tastes like, but they have bottles that cost over $100, so I'm assuming that's a damn good bottle of sake. If you buy a bottle they'll actually hold it for you for up to 100 days, so that you don't have to finish it all at once, and can feel like a "regular" when you come back in for another meal and ask for YOUR bottle of sake. They also have a 3-sake sampler that is nice for beginners, and a list of descriptions that tell you what has notes of flowers and nuttiness so you don't have to pretend you can detect a hint of chicory in this third glass. Just so you and I stay on good terms, you should know that I don't know what chicory is, or if it belongs in sake.
I feel much better now.
Syun loses a star for priciness and portion sizes. My boyfriend and I can spend $50 and still lick the plates clean, which makes Syun a rare and special occasion. A quarter of the star was also lost for lack of sushi roll creativity. We like it spicy, and we like our variety, and unfortunately all we're left with is incredibly fresh and delicious sushi--I wish all disappointments were so sweet.
So go to Syun, impress your friends by telling them it tastes just like that sushi you had in new York, ask the waitress if they have any sake with notes of chicory, And just for the record, I in no way endorse plate licking.