Which is why we're all worked up about Greenwich Village's newest sushi spot, Soto, which begins taking reservations tomorrow for (hopefully) a Thursday opening.
At this sliver of an intimate, 42-seat spot, your nightly omakases are prepared by Sotohiro Kosugi, a man who knows no boundaries when it comes to his fish. Case in point: When the lobster, red snapper and squid arrive daily from places like Japan, Chile and New Zealand, Kosugi likes to have little chats with his inventory...so they can tell him how they want to be prepared. That's right, he talks to his fish. "I ask the fish what I can do," says Kosugi. "It directs me." (Introducing the Fish Whisperer.)
Kosugi also offers up "live" items (like flounder and snow crab), giving you a choice of enjoying your fish pre or post rigor mortis (pre means cleaner taste and chewier texture, post means it's softer and more flavorful). And the madness isn't just for show—Food & Wine named him one of America's top new chefs back in 1997.
With obsession come some potentially serious dining experiences. At Soto, you may witness a patron get sent home for ordering a Diet Coke (it happened). You may watch as $50-a-pound bluefin tuna is tossed impulsively in the trash. And you may see a chef explode into a fit of rage...and then turn lovingly to your hamachi.
In other words, grab a seat at the bar and get ready—and maybe lay off the cola.