Of all of the restaurants that I find most difficult to eat at with celiacs disease, sushi and barbecue tend be at the top. I’ll eventually find a good barbecue place to review but for now, this is about a sushi restaurant in NYC called Koi. It is located next to Bryant Park in the middle of midtown Manhattan and offers an interesting scene with an even more interesting menu. This place offers some incredibly unique sushi in a cozy yet vibrant atmosphere. The menu has California written all over it (not literally) but most importantly is very gluten free friendly.
I fell in love with the sushi that I ate here. I still crave the Northern Lights Roll which consisted of salmon, snow crab (not imitation), avocado and truffle. I love truffle but who in their right minds would pair this with sushi? Well, Koi does and they actually make other sushi restaurants look crazy for NOT offering this combo. Such a great roll.
I’d also be a criminal for not mentioning the best part of this sushi menu. A gluten free SPICY tuna roll! I have not had one single spicy anything roll since my celiac diagnosis. I used to love spicy sushi so to be able to safely have this was a massive plus. For that alone, this is a must visit for those with gluten free lifestyles.
One more point and probably the most important – they carry gluten free soy sauce (tamari).
The service here with regards to gluten free eating is pretty great. They offer a separate gluten free menu which is great and makes the conversation much easier with the wait staff. My server was decently knowledgeable but assured me (without me asking) that she would communicate my issue to the kitchen. I didn’t ask her if they cook gluten free items separately but from my non-reaction and everything I read in my research; it seems like they did.
The fact that they have a separate gluten free menu is fantastic. And the menu isn’t the typical stack of plain options either. There are very unique specials, rolls, sides and entrees listed on the gf menu that I was happy to see. But the menu is a bit on the small side. Not a problem, but the waitress also told me that there are a bunch of items on the regular menu that can be made GF as well. Typically, this is a great thing to hear but I always find this more complicated and confusing. Why not just add those items to the gluten free menu? Otherwise I’m sitting there looking at 2 entire menus going back and forth like I’m analyzing side by side shots of a crime scene. Again, this isn’t a bad thing but must make note of it.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
I felt great after. Not too full and not a single issue. Based on this experience, the service, separate menu and what I’ve read about them cooking gluten free items separately – I would say this is a safe spot to eat for us.
For those that are gluten free and love sushi, especially interesting and unique California inspired rolls, this place is a must try. It is a bit on the upscale side and therefor more expensive than the likes of a Lilly and Loo but still highly recommended.