My go-to Japanese has long beenÂ Sushi of Gari. Simple and unpretentious, with a meticulous presentation that borders on wizardry, it’s an Upper East Side anomaly hidden on a sleepy side street. When it comes toÂ omakaseÂ (letting the chef decide what you eat)Â it’s easily the best deal in town, too. The only drawback is that the room is tiny, making a casual drop-by almost impossible. Over the past year, however, chef Gari has grown his humble one-off into a mini fish empire, opening branches in Tribeca, the Upper West Side, the Theater District, and evenÂ the food hallsÂ underneathÂ The Plaza Hotel. Can Gari’s reputation for quality and fastidious attention to detail hold up across so many outlets? If Sushi of Gari 46 is any barometer the answer would be no. The setting is more refined, the lighting more forgiving, but there’s a chain mentality at work here that seems to be less about divinely sliced fish and more about herding people in and out as quickly as possible. The front of house is brusque, the servers even more so. And while you’d love to linger longer over a sweet, unfilteredÂ nigoriÂ which comes to the table in a beautiful flask of blown glass, subliminally you’re waiting for a not-so-subtle cattle prod to signal your time is up. The sushi and sashimi are respectable, if not sublime – and certainlyÂ not worth making a special trip. But it is the atmosphere, which borders onÂ aggressivelyÂ hostile, that is so off-putting.Â Part of the allure of the east side original hasÂ always been that it’s very muchÂ aÂ neighborhoodÂ joint, albeit oneÂ where the man with his name on the door is the one behind the counterÂ wielding theÂ shokunin. Sushi of Gari 46 might have style to spare, but it lacks the appeal that comes with having soul.