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Jul 1, 2013 09:21 AM

Saito Failure

I called Saito 100 times over the course of 12 hours and could not get in. Now I'm looking for a backup plan. I want to have a memorable sushi experience that will stick with me for a lifetime and set a new bar for future sushi dining.

What appealed to me about Saito was the intimacy, the approachable chef, the humbler price, and the challenge of getting a seat. I really enjoy Momofuku ko in NYC for these same reasons.

What should I try with 7 weeks notice? I really wouldn't mind someone less established as long as they were "up and coming" and well respected.

Oh, and I really don't want to be pandered to as an American tourist. I just want the experience of sitting in front of a great sushi chef.

Any tips?

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  1. Sawada is very good and you should have no problem getting in. I was there a few weeks ago and it was very, very good. He only serves six people at lunch and six people at dinner. It doesn't get much more intimate than that.

    1 Reply
    1. re: la2tokyo

      Sawada is fantastic - the go-to place when I want to bring guests for the ultimate sushi experience. But it's fairly pricey compared to Saito. Still, much more intimate.

    2. Sushi Shimizu is one ot the well recognized chef, and also very intimate, and you will seat on small counter, but if you prefer a chef that is more open i recommend you sushi Taichi, choose lunch at 5250.-yens.. Taichi(first name)-sanhe seems to know very well sushi Masa from NY, and was also recommended by other sushi-yasan..

      3 Replies
      1. re: Ninisix

        Excellent. Taichi sounds like a good option. The thing that bothers me about Sawada is that it's shamelessly the most expensive place in town. I would enjoy a chef that try's to be more accessible than elite. I know that I will have some outstanding sushi while I'm in Tokyo. Is it really worth breaking the bank on one meal?

        Thanks for the advise, ninisix.

        1. re: heddcase

          Yes, if you go for the full 'omakase' set at 35,000.-yens at Sawada-sa, it will be very impressive : big pieces of abalone, different sorts of sea urchins, .. but for the lunch nigiri set I won't go for it, even it is cheaper.... The full omakase at sushi Taichi will be at around 17,000.-yens, including sashimi/tsumami and series of nigiri. After that, for the difference, you will be able to have one more good japanese meal or another sushi. Sushi Iwa(one star) at lunch, the sets are at around 5000yens/8000yens

          1. re: heddcase

            A little precision, the first impression was good, except for the nigiri, the second time I was not.