Nu Sushi’s Bento Box Is Like My Dream TV Dinner

Some days when I’m deciding what to have for lunch, I want something specific like a plain slice of pizza. The day I went to Nu Sushi on Pearl St. (btw. Hanover & Broad) was not one of those days. I wanted a little bit of a few things, so in my mind the obvious choice was a bento box. Downtown lunch’er boomshanka had recommended the reastaurant’s bento in the forums as one of his go-to lunches. Nu Sushi is located in a strip of pricey restaurants near Hanover Square that barely offer anything under $10, but all of their bentos fall into that category. The only catch is that you have to get it to go, because if you eat in, the price goes up to $14.50 for some reason. So, let’s see what was inside this box, shall we?

Nu Sushi is a small restaurant with table service. If you want the cheaper take-out, you don’t even get past the front podium to mingle with the people eating very elaborate looking sushi rolls and sashimi. These people are not Midtown Lunchers. The Midtown Lunchers are the cheapskates sitting on the benches right inside the door waiting for their discounted lunches.

I went with the pork katsu ($8), although there are about 10 choices in all between $7 and $9. The bento comes in a large plastic compartmentalized tray that keeps things nicely separated in transit. It really did remind me of the trays that TV dinners come in, only more like a Hungry Man than a Lean Cuisine. The only downside to the takeout, at least with the katsu, is that the condensation from the plastic lid took away some of the crispiness.

Let’s start with the katsu since that was the only variable in the box. Other options include teriyaki with various proteins, roast pork, tempura, gyoza or shumai, and coconut shrimp (!). The katsu was pounded really thin, with the sauce in a little container on the side. I kind of wish they would have put the rice that comes in the box underneath the katsu, but that’s just me. Anyway, it was a perfectly fine fried pork cutlet, but no match for Go Go Curry.

The miso soup that came with was decent, and the salad and white rice were…well…salad and white rice.

There were also four large pieces of a California roll. I have never personally been a fan of this combo that is the cheap standard of supermarkets and sushi places. This one did not change my mind. The avocado was mushy, kind of making the rest of the roll even worse.

There are other lunch items besides the bento that include a two-roll combo and some noodle dishes that are under $10. One that caught my eye was the house udon soup that contains roast pork, crispy gyoza and vegetables ($8).

I’m not sure this place will replace my other go-to Japanese takeout place Niko Niko that’s up the street on Pearl. At least there you can sit and eat at one of the abundant tables.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Their bentos have a surprising amount of food for what they cost.
  • They provide benches for the cheap people to sit and watch the less-cheap customers while waiting for take out.
  • There are a lot of different options for the main part of the bento.
  • I can feel like I’m eating a classy TV dinner…on a park bench across the street.
  • Coconut shrimp, roast pork – these people know how to up the bento ante!

THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • If you actually want to sit in the restaurant and eat, nearly everything is out of the ML price range.
  • They should give you another option besides the California roll.
  • I want a few shumai in my box automatically!

Nu Sushi, 76 Pearl St. (btw. Hanover & Broad St.), (212) 363-1668


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