Wasan — 64.2 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We stopped by Wasan for a Monday lunch and found it surprisingly busy.  Perhaps it shouldn’t have been surprising, as this small space was perfectly comfortable–despite one boomy and animated customer who spoke nonstop.  Jazz played softly in the background throughout our lunch, and the other guests either tuned in to their laptops or chatted very softly to each other. The soundscape was exactly what we like. Not silent, but the sound from chatter and music was in the background and wafted around, never dominating or intruding into our space.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

There is a large window in the front of the restaurant, but fabric drapes the bottom half and a heavy curtain hangs by the front door.  No doubt the drapery helped absorb sound. The seats have fabric covers and that may have helped too. Mostly, the space works because the atmosphere is serene and most people respect it by speaking softly.

At least half the tables were taken during our visit, so even if full the space should be at least tolerable.  Wasan offers lunch specials, including fabulous bento boxes.  We really enjoyed our meal and highly recommend a visit.

HOURS

Monday through Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. | 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

LOCATION

Street (at 5th Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11217

WEBSITE

Wasan-NY

 

 

Ani Sushi — 72 to 76.3 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We have visited Ani Sushi on a number of occasions to take adavantage of their very reasonable lunch specials. Located on busy Montague Street, Ani Sushi is one of the best lunch time options in the immediate area. Their food is always fresh and service is first rate. The only issue we have with the place is its soundscape.  Specifically, they play club music that is louder than it should be.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

It’s inevitable that the introduction of music would make Ani Sushi louder than it should be because the design choices ensure a live space. There is a wall of glass in the front that reflects a lot of the sound back into the front room. The seating in the front overlooking Montague Street is odd and a little uncomfortable, as all the seats face forward, requiring you to sit beside your dining companions.  It’s awkward if you want to have a conversation.

Since the noise level is also louder in the front of the restaurant, we suggest you aim for the handful of tables located opposite the sushi bar. They are in a small sort of niche, which seems to help with the sound level.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Now about that music…  It’s the same with each visit–loud, jarring pop and generic dance music.  We know we are in a Japanese restaurant but it sounds like we are in a discotheque as the sound track features B-side disco tunes from the past.  It doesn’t make much sense, and, sadly, it makes the space merely tolerable when it could be so much more.

In the end, Ani Sushi is worth the visit because of their very reasonably priced, delicious lunch specials and friendly, attentive staff.  Just try to avoid sitting in the front dining area if you can, and your dining experience should be manageable.  We haven’t eaten at Ani Sushi at dinner, but expect the soundscape to be similar and note that they offer dinner specials too.

HOURS

Monday through Thursday: 11:00 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

Friday: 11:00 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.

Saturday: 12:00 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.

Sunday: 12:00 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

LOCATION

(betw. Henry and Clinton Streets), Brooklyn, NY 11201

WEBSITE

Ani Sushi