When Closing a Deal Calls for Sushi, Head Here
From the April 2016 edition of Reserve, a Bloomberg Brief publication.
Can you imagine a time before sushi?
Nobu's opening in the early 1990s in L.A. changed forever the way Westerners approach Japanese food. The formality and fear vanished in a puff as English-speaking staff and accessible menus brought Japanese specialities into the U.S. mainstream. Nobu spawned such fusion giants as Zuma and Sushisamba and also begat quieter, fancier, and more traditional restaurants like Masa in New York and Umu in London. They're chic, tiny, wildly expensive, and perfect for impressing that all-important client—or date.
15 East, New York
The best in class is 15 East, where diners can choose a sublime bar experience or a sedate meal in a padded, lush dining room. Get reservations early. While there are a few larger tables, the only way to do a group is to close the restaurant, which many do. Aside from sushi, its one of the few places you can get homemade Soba.
Shuko, New York
Two Masa alums produce either a modified Kaiseki flight for $175 per person or a nigiri heavy Omakase for $135. The lighting is dark, the bar the place to be, and the mood tilted toward the media or hedge fund VIPs that make it sing. Named one of Bloomberg's best new restaurants of 2015. (Full Bloomberg review)
Breaks the mold in that it's almost reasonably priced and shockingly loud. It may be the best modern Japanese experience in London. It has taken the essence of Nobu and distilled it for millennials. Get the fried chicken. (Full Bloomberg review)
Sushi Zo, Los Angeles + New York
The current go-to spot for sushi lovers. Chef Masashi Ito in NYC draws and deserves the kind of attention showered on Jiro in Tokyo for his precision, the quality of the rice, and of course, the freshest and rarest fish.
Seafood, and sushi, will certainly be part of the experience here, but there will be so much more. Many, many tiny, sumptuous, complicated bites. Considered by aficionados to be the best Kaiseki in Japan, this monk-like space by the U.S. Embassy is prized for its seasonality.
Leave it to the French to have the final say on Japanese cuisine. Candlelight, Escoffier technique applied to Wagyu beef, and a full seaweed menu. And yes, prime slices of fish to go with it.