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Mar 10, 2012 04:41 PM

Sushi Saito: Wait List & Walk Ins?

Due to lag time and language barrier issues with the concierge at my hotel, I was unable to get confirmed for a reservation at Sushi Saito during my trip in a few weeks. Huge bummer since I was able to get into every other place I wanted with the exception of 7chome Kyoboshi (which apparently does not accept reservations for solo diners). So... I'm desperate right now.

Does anyone know whether Sushi Saito has a wait list, and if so what my odds may be on getting in? Also, would I have any luck trying to walk in for a seat at lunch time during the week/weekend? I'm operating on the assumption that no one will cancel dinner reservations so lunch would be my best option to try and get in.

Any advice?

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  1. Yes, find another sushi shop. There are tons of high quality options.

    1. Every time I had lunch there, there were one or two seats available, though it's never too easy to book, even for lunch. Ask your hotel concierge to call them again when you check in, and try to book early (like 12:00 AM for lunch). Or try another place. Really, there's no need to get desperate when you have so many excellent options.

      13 Replies
      1. re: babreu

        Thanks, I'll definitely see about having the hotel call again once I arrive.

        It's not so much that there aren't a ton of other options that will be just as good, I know there are. My desperation stems from the fact that I specifically chose to dine at Saito after much research for this trip and because of elements out of my control I was unable to secure a reservation. It's just a little bit of a bummer, that's all. :)

        1. re: sohryu

          Don't feel too bummed - I also planned on going to Sushi Saito but couldn't get a place. 3 months before the actual trip, the concierge (a very good concierge who secured reservations at a number of other hard-to-reserve tiny places) called early to be told that reservations could only be taken 2 months before. She called again on the dot the very day that they started taking reservations for the date I wanted, only to be told that they were already full for the whole week (and month too, if I recall correctly). There are other good places that are (arguably) comparable, both in price point and quality and I'm sure you'll find them enjoyable too. Have a good trip :)

          1. re: RipCurl

            ripcurl - sounds similar to what i've experienced. i called the restaurant three months in advance, to be told that they start taking reservations on the first of the month for the next month (this was for a march reservation). i forgot all about it on the 1st of february; when i called on the second of february, the restaurant was fully booked for lunch and dinner for the entire march.

            booked for kanesaka eventually (after failing to get into sawada as well). strangely easy to get a booking. lol.

            1. re: akated

              Sushi Kanesaka is not that difficult to book. It is bigger with two sushi chefs so easily accommodate 12-15 guests. Pretty good but not in the same league as Saitou/Sawada.

              1. re: FourSeasons

                ah well. i'm on the waitlist for sawada, so keeping my fingers crossed! if not, there's always december. or february next year. haha.

                1. re: akated

                  How often do you visit Tokyo? It is much easier to get a space in Sawada if you dine solo and willing to eat at odd hours (like 2-6pm).

                  1. re: FourSeasons

                    at least once a year. although last year i was there twice. possibly this year too. lol.

                    although i usually go with my mate, so dining solo will be a bit of a problem. would have tried to make a reservation for sawada earlier, but my first choice was saitou, and i only tried to reserve sawada after i didn't manage to get a reservation for saitou (my bad).

                    (edit: fourseasons: just saw that you managed to get a reservation for mitani! grrr. i'm on mitani's waitlist too. haha.)

                    sawada is open throughout the day? i'm surprised; thought they would be closed in between mealtimes.

                    1. re: akated

                      I actually think Mitani is the hardest to book. I have tried 3 times, this is the first time I succeeded so looking forward to it. One Taiwanese blogger wrote that it took him 8 months to book in advanced, but he was kind of disappointed considering the wait and the high expectation. But then my other friend really raved about Mitani so I am convinced it is worthwhile to try on this trip.

                      I always dined at 12:00 in Sawada but there was once I was rejected because he was full. So he was willing to compensate at 2 or 5pm which I was unable to accept due to other appointments. Not sure if he did it just for regulars or he open throughout the day. Same with Saitou. I once pleaded to him to serve us at 2pm for a party of 4 persons; he replied he actually willing to do it for regulars but even that slot of 2pm and 11am were full for his regulars on the day I wanted! Lucky I got it book this time but the concierge complained they seldom pick up their phones nowadays. Maybe overwhelming demand...

                      1. re: FourSeasons

                        To be frank, I am a sushi fan, but even last year as I went 2 times to sushi Araki, I didn't have any clue of his special 'matsutake' sushi in autumn. When I heard about it, it was already finished, and he will close this year. Ggrrr !! No chance to taste it even this year !! Maybe I should chose my next automn trip to NY or Firenze (if I can trust the rumours about the places where he will move) ... hoping he can put his hands on 'matsutake (=mushroom)' there !

                        1. re: Ninisix

                          Thankfully I'm dining alone so I was able to get confirmed for Sawada, my alternative to Saito. Still going to try and get into Saito when I arrive at my hotel, though. :) Also going to try and walk into 7chome Kyoboshi and see if they'll seat me even though I'm alone.

                          And with that, my list for Japan is complete!

                          Sushi Kanesaka
                          Tapas Molecular Bar
                          Ginza Okuda

                          Next up is research on ramen and bars. If anyone has any recommendations for me I'd love to hear them.

                          1. re: sohryu

                            Depends on what kind of ramen you want. Keizo at has a very good ramen blog here in Tokyo and heads up Basanova which has a Thai-soup ramen that is raved about.

                            1. re: gkanai

                              Actually (not to nitpick but) I think it's Bassanova's Thai green-curry ramen that's raved about (by me at least). The Thai-soup ramen isn't nearly as good IMHO.

                            2. re: sohryu

                              sohryu - just one question purely out of curiosity (sorry if dealt with elsewhere, I have not read all the posts): Why Ginza Okuda AND Koju? They are owned and run by the same guy so presumably the style etc will be very similar? Do you like Okuda's style that much or do you have any other reason?

        2. Did you manage to walk into saito? I couldn't get a resevation either even though I could do dinner on pretty much any day of a whole week, from what I've read online, saito usually has empty seats, would love to hear if anyone has any luck(solo diner)

          1. I hope you got in! My dinner at Sushi Saito (back in Oct 2010) was amazing.

            There were a couple of empty seats during my visit, so if you're desperate I say trying walking in at odd hours.

            GOOD LUCK!