For truly outstanding sushi, head to the heart of Harlem, where Chef Shinichi Inoue—formerly of Sushi Azabu—presides over this discreet and unexpected addition to the neighborhood. Inside the small establishment, bamboo blinds obscuring the scene outside, combined with hushed and genuine hospitality produce a sense of calm and refinement. The Nagasaki-born chef works behind a display of sparkling fillets and a dark counter arranged with 14 washi placemats and sets of lacquered chopsticks. It is here that a concise list of omakase options is prepared increasing in price with the additions of tempura, sashimi and an uni tasting. Chef Inoue personally looks after every detail of the meal-from the blended soy sauce to the house miso recipe. Pickled ginger placed on your tray ushers in the expertly crafted nigiri, and while the grated wasabi root that sparks most pieces can be a bit aggressive at times, the procession is delightful. Highlights include a bite of buttery shima aji from Kyushu island; shiro ika dressed with salt and sudachi; soy-marinated tuna with mustard and toasted sesame seeds; and fatty tuna from Boston-one of the rare pieces not from Japanese waters.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors
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