220 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011
Contact | 212.727.1709
I was looking for easy parking in Manhattan one weeknight, which was what brought us to Kosaka, just east of the Meatpacking district. I knew little of the restaurant, but one call and we got two bar seats at our time of choice.
That’s the unassuming, matter-of-fact nature of Kosaka in the sea of often-hyped omakase restaurants in Manhattan. But don’t mistake modesty for mediocrity.
Kosaka is the namesake venture of Jewel Bako alum Yoshihiko Kousaka. He brought with him an intense focus on detail, but applied toward what I’d consider to be a simpler menu. The 18-seater is mostly stools at the sushi bar, which is really the best way to enjoy a sushi omakase anyway.
The menu offers two versions of omakases, both priced at $145. A variety of supplementary items, such as tataki, salad and uni, are available to add on to your omakase of choice.
We took the sashimi route, which means the first dish is a colorful medley of seafood, ranging from your standard cuts of tuna, to baby squid on uni. The meal starts off strong this way, before you settle into a rhythm of single-serving nigiri, each expertly sliced and pressed onto a warm bundle of rice. The lineup is staccatoed with a box of uni and roe over rice and a warm tuna handroll, each welcome interruptions to what ends up being about a two-hour-long sushi meal.
Each delivery is wrapped in a bow tie of immaculate detail, even if on the surface it looks like any other omakase process. The best example of that would be the scallop sushi, served with a line of tangy green tobiko and lime zest–very potent lime zest. The citrusy aroma and booming flavor is one to remember.
There were two lowlights, however: the tamago and dessert. The sweet egg sushi had an odd soapy flavor, which I’d like to think is a one-off, and the dessert was an underwhelming trio of fudge and cookies.
Like anything else, there’s room for improvement. But Kosaka shows how not all Manhattan omakases worthy of your time need to be splashed on the front page.