Missing: 50-Foot Buddhas
What you won’t find here: bamboo, daily specials scrawled in crayon and that endlessly waving cat. What you will find: mammoth modern art installations, ceiling-wide steel suspension cables and hovering models. They flock to the scent of housemade miso.
A Seat (or Eight) Unlike Any Other
You’ll secure one of the limited spots at the onyx-topped sushi bar and marvel at the nothingness before you. That obstructive glass display case of fish: gone. Instead, it’s you and the sushi chefs, face to face. Celebratory maki roll high-fives are still discouraged, though.
Charter Member of the Sushi Hall of Fame
You only sit with sushi chefs of the highest esteem. Hiro Sawatari qualifies. The man has 30 years of sushi-making experience (most recently at Yasuda). Making him the Babe Ruth of New York sushi. If Babe Ruth sliced paper-thin hirame sashimi.
The Gastronomical Yin-Yang
If you’re at the bar: ask for the special Sustainable Omakase. If you’re at a corner-hugging banquette or communal 12-top: the menu is designed for ordering a mix of cold sushi and hot plates (Tokyo Crispy Chicken, Suntory Time Steak). After which, you’ll find your chi significantly centered.
The Rarest Beverage of Them All
The wine, sake and champagne lists here are immaculately curated. So, naturally, you’ll want to ignore them. Instead, order up a pint of the house tap. It’s Rogue Gaijin Pale Ale, and it’s endangered. Only 20 kegs are produced each year. After that, it’s the black market. Or eBay.
How You’ll Want to Tip
Chef Hiro used to play semipro baseball, so if you want to really get on his good side: come bearing gifts. Specifically, bobbleheads of Asian baseball players. Guests at the sushi bar are encouraged to tip with them. Good thing you always keep a spare Matsui on your person.