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Great new sushi restaurant in Tribeca

A wonderful little sushi restaurant opened inside Brushstroke. Chef Ichimura-san is a very experienced and skilled sushi chef. The fish is expertly prepared and simply delicious.
The sushi restaurant replaced the Brushstroke cocktail bar. It is a cozy, almost private sushi bar. There are only 8 seats. I am hesitant to write a really good review, as any publicity will make it impossible to get in, but I love you guys. The chef has not only had a sushi restaurant in midtown Manhattan back in the 80s, he has made sushi all over and has taught the art of sushi. I got the special omakase of course, but they have ala carte sushi , and less expensive omakase choices. The meal started with bai-gai ( a type of large snail) liver and all, the dish was excellent. I start with sashimi then go to sushi. I am not sure if that is what the chef would ordinarily do. Pardon that I didn't write anything down , so this is from memory. The next dish was a Hirame dish that consisted of engawa ( fluke fin) which was perfect, and fluke shirako and eggs, and some what i think were shirouo ( tiny icefish that are usually live) this was a wonderful dish. then i had some sashimi of mirugai ( giant clam), tako ( octopus), kohada (shad), madai belly( Snapper), shima aji ( stripe jack), otoro ( bluefin belly),saba ( mackerel from japan), The sashimi was so good. The otoro was very light pink and delicious, the octopus was served with a little salt and japanese spice on the side. The wasabi was ground fresh. The next dish was up there with the best shiokara I've had anywhere ( not the stuff from the jar that many places use) this was the real deal. Then I had a chawanmushi, which was excellent ( special order), Now I start my sushi. The sushi was prepared with great skill. The rice was perfect. The technique great to watch. The fish delicious. I had kasugodai (baby spring snapper-in season now), the taste was so sweet and nice consistency, shima aji (one of my favorites), kin madai ( golden eye snapper), Santa Barbara uni,( was good but I prefer Japanese uni), Kohada was real good, saba (well marinated), anago ( served with no skin and some salt), ending with home made tomago(egg cake). I accompanied this with a few different sake choices all very good. The sommelier is very knowledgable as far as sake goes. The waitress is terrific and also knows very much about the sake choices.
The style of sashimi/sushi is very simple, very "authentic" , traditional Japanese. There are no rolls that I am aware of. There is no seared fish, there are no fancy mixtures of fish like Sushi of Gari. This is straight-up good Japanese style sushi. The fish is prepared perfectly, the chef is a "real" sushi chef and quite skilled and knowledgable about the fish he serves. The present clientele is Japanese. The place is not known yet. I am sure it will be soon reviewed and rated in the class of 15 East, Masa, Kanoyama, Yasuda. I do think they will offer more choices of fish as time goes on, I also think they will offer more cuts of tuna ( like 15 East). They should however, include dessert in the price of the omakase, and perhaps a kitchen dish. They now charge extra for these. The meal was worth the high price though, and I will be back often.
Congrats to Mr. Bouley for bringing some excellent sushi to Tribeca. My compliments to Ichimura-san for a great meal.

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  1. This shop was written up in the NYT Diner's Journal and on Eater. Perhaps this is the first review though. Nice job.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay

      Silverjay,, i did not see the review from NYT, but I do know they expect several critics soon. I think you will like not only the sushi here, but the demeanor and personality of the chef. A very humble skilled chef.

      1. re: foodwhisperer

        How much did the omakase cost? Was it multiple tiers or no set price?

        1. re: Ricky

          They have different ranges. My omakase was $150 and called the special omakase. I had sashimi, then sushi. Sashimi was a few courses. Sushi was one piece at a time, as expected. No dessert or kitchen dishes included. I believe they have a $95 omakase, and a $55, and they have ala carte.

        2. re: foodwhisperer

          Not a review, just an advance write-up on the sushi. Ran earlier this month ... http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co....

          By the way, the chef ran Ichimura until 2008. Search for the name here and you'll find plenty of Chowhound love for the place. Glad to hear your report on his new gig.

          1. re: squid kun

            Thanks Squid Kun,, I read the link article. Nice picture of Ichimura-san. The article is incorrect about the 2 seatings, as you can at this time go any time. Maybe their plan is 2 seatings. Right now they start at 6 and last seating is at 10:30. I will say, my meal was one of the quickest omakase meals. I was finished in about an hour and 15 minutes.They were also incorrect in that the omakase starts at $150, that is the higher meal , there are lower priced omakase meals there.

      2. Our cups runneth over. Nice writeup, FW.

        1. Ichimurasan is a good friend and a great chef. We used to go to his restaurant about once a week until it closed. He is without a doubt one of the best in NYC when he can do things his way. Before this move he was at Hatsuhana, where his talents were not being taken advantage of.

          I hope that he is given free rein here to do as he pleases. Sounds like that is the case.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sushiman

            Ichimura-san runs the show. It is an interesting set up he has there, with the huge refrigerator behind him. He is King in his kingdom, and does not have an assistant. Since he has been buying the fish, the quality of the sashimi at Brushstroke ( which he does not prepare) has been better. He did mention that he is good friends with owner of Hatsuhana. The sushi area is blocked off from Brushstroke, you cant see it from Brushstroke's other area. It is like a little private sushi bar. Only 8 seats and you always get Ichimura-san as your chef.

          2. $150 for sushi is out of my league. It seems most of the great sushi locations in N,Y,C, are very high priced. I did have some creative and tasty sushi rolls at Takahachi restaurant, which is also in Tribeca. One of the rolls was called Passage to India. It had tuna, mango, cilantro, and curry sauce and it made me smile.

            8 Replies
            1. re: fondaddict

              Try Yasuda for lunch - I've never been for lunch but I've heard it's quite affordable.

              Back to the OP,
              This place sounds great, thanks for posting about it. Most sushi places I've been to don't include desserts in omakase (maybe the yuzu drink at Sushi Zo) so that won't bother me. The anago prep sounds delicious - wouldn't mind a piece right now!

              So do you call Brushstroke for a res?

              (TAmago, BTW - no big deal, but FYI.)

              1. re: uwsister

                ..Also biggie, but it's kinmedai. Madai is another type of fish.

                1. re: uwsister

                  Yes you call Brushstroke and get res at sushi bar with Ichimurasan. Just so they don't get confused and think you mean the chef counter at Brushstroke. Haha on the TAmago, I guess sometimes i pronounce it with a TO. Oh on the kinmEdai, I figured it was kinMadai, relating to madai. Since the fish is red and red snapper is red, and Tai is snapper and madai. I wonder who invented the English spelling. Anyway, I never saw it written only heard it spoken. I usually don't like it as sashimi. Always had it cooked in Japan, but lately i keep seeing it served at sushi bars here. Sometimes seared. I love the big eyes on the fish.Thanks for the spelling help.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    English spelling is based on the Japanese. They seem similar in English but the kanji and the Japanese meaning are completely different. 'Kinme" means "golden eye'. Kinmedai sashimi is divine. It's very popular in Japan.

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      It's such a nice looking fish , with its big golden eye an dred skin, i took its photo at tsukiji market

                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        here's an interesting blog post i read on singapore's probably most famous food blog on kinmedai and madai: http://ieatishootipost.sg/2012/04/shi...

                  2. re: uwsister

                    My lunches at Yasuda typically run $100-$125 (for just sushi).

                    1. re: lexismore

                      I'm sure you can spend lots of money there no matter what time it is, but don't they have affordable set menus at lunch? I see it recommended all the time. I don't have that kind of restraint so I don't go there unless I can go all the way (kind of like a date) but if someone wants to simply give it a try, set menu at lunch should work well.

                2. My understanding is they have 8 chairs w/ two seatings per evening.
                  Were you early or late?
                  At his former venue, the bar crowd varied over the evening.
                  On my visits, businessmen followed by a more casual, younger clientele as the night progressed.
                  If he has been given free reign, this is indeed good and welcomed news.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                    I am not sure that there are a fixed number of seatings. Last orders are at 10. There are 8 seats and two small tables, one sort of private behind a screen.

                    The clientele will be more mixed here as he is part of Brushstroke and hence far more visible particularly to the non-Japanese community.

                    In any case, the place is fantastic.

                    1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                      8 seats at the sushi bar is correct.they also have 2 hi tops. There are no regular settings to the best of my knowledge, I showed up early and was the only one there,by 7 eo it was full. The other nite I couldn't get a seat ,around 7pm. I guess the word spread. No it is not better than 15 east. But it is a top tier sushi place.also you can order some of the great brushstroke dishes. I ordered chawanmushi mid omakase

                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        right *now* … perhaps hamo, ayu, (shin) takenoko.

                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                          Had dinner with Mr. Ichimura again this past week. Simply perfect.

                            1. re: sushiman

                              Glad to hear you enjoyed your dinner with Mr. Ichimura. It keeps getting better. I totally like that they separate it off from Brushstroke.I don't think the people who eat at Brushstroke are aware of this place. It is kind of a secret still. I've been going there at least once a week.

                              1. re: foodwhisperer

                                my initial, ( ...favorable), impression was that this new space allowed for broader "expresssion" ...
                                vis-a-vis the former eponymous locale.

                        2. ah very interesting, so do u think its better than yasuda or 15 east?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Lau

                            15 East is better as far as variety and quality of tuna especially. Ichimura- san has some dishes that are better . The coziness of Ichimura place is preferred over 15 East. But I love 15 East, and I have long time strong relationship with the chef there. I do not like Yasuda, except for the eel

                          2. i almost went there on Tuesday, but my plans changed last minute and i ended up w/ a friend at Ushiwakamaru (which was great)...but will get there soon...

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Simon

                              As far as Ushiwakamaru goes, I have friends that love the place. I went 3 times, once with the 2nd chef , and he had a cold, so it was a turnoff. Second time I had the owner. I offered to buy him a beer , and he filled a huge pitcher size mug with beer. Should I have been insulted that he was being greedy or taking advantage. Or is that just his style with everyone? Also, the 3rd time I went, he was not friendly, seemed a bit uppity. But I'm willing to go again , just wondering your thoughts on Ushiwakamaru.

                              1. re: foodwhisperer

                                heya...don't feel that Hideo-san was being greedy w/ the beer: that's just his clowny drinker schtick: he likes to gulp down the whole beer and grin wildly...fwiw, that giant beer costs only 5 dollars to the customer (or at least it did last week)...

                                i love Ushiwakamaru, but i think i'll post a separate thread, so people can chime in w/ their current thoughts...

                              2. re: Simon

                                when you do, please be more specific ..,
                                "winter" ... mirugai, namako, tarabagani
                                "spring" ... hotaru ika, ... ayu
                                "summer" ... awabi, sazae
                                http://blue_moon.typepad.com/blue_lotus/2007/09/post-6.html