Omakase: $150 per person at the Sushi Bar
Chef Daisuke Nakazawa is an old soul in a new world. His style oozes of Japanese tradition, but with a careful understanding of how to cater to the fickle American audience. It’s an obvious risk bringing to New York what he’s learned as Jiro Ono‘s protege — taking years to master the tamago — but his venture today is our gain.
Nakazawa-san is a delightful man, earnestly inquiring where you are from, how you like his sushi as he serves you piece by piece at the 10-seat bar — where the omasake is 21 pieces. (There is also an omasake option in the dining room priced $30 lower.) As he makes a name for himself in Manhattan, you can only hope Sushi Nakazawa draws a crowd beyond those interested in getting a taste of the unattainable Jiro.
Below you’ll see the omasake series Jay and I had the pleasure of trying on Saturday. There is a reason why his tamago is famous, a lusciously spongy egg with a touch of sweetness. That, along with melt-in-your-mouth mid and fatty tuna slices were my favorites of the night. Not pictured: the opening salmon sashimi, an unagi nigiri, a tuna roll served second-to-last.
Admittedly, $150 a person is a bit pricey. Even compared to other multi-course omasakes in the city, it’s priced on the high end. But many of these fish are imports from places ranging from Boston to Japan, and it’s by far the most personalized in terms of service. There’s no doubting a good part of that is payment for the experience and simple economics of there being so much demand for these 10 chairs, available just twice each night.
Landing reservations, however, isn’t one of bend-over-backwards New York City feats. Just make sure you’re on their website around midnight, when reservations for the day one month ahead will open up.