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Sushi Nakazawa - 4 stars from NY Times

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darren425 Dec 10, 2013 01:58 PM

Jiro's apprentice Daisuke Nakazawa just earned four stars from Pete Wells. Here's the review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/11/din...

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    silencespeak RE: darren425 Dec 10, 2013 03:24 PM

    Wow...

    1 Reply
    1. re: silencespeak
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      peter j RE: silencespeak Dec 10, 2013 03:38 PM

      Wow indeed. Stunning review.

    2. strangemd RE: darren425 Dec 10, 2013 03:55 PM

      Glad I got to go last week, as it'll be pretty impossible for awhile.
      Thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but am unconvinced that it's "better" than 15E when Masa is in good form. Both lyrical experiences.

      12 Replies
      1. re: strangemd
        ipsedixit RE: strangemd Dec 10, 2013 04:06 PM

        It just makes everyone "up" their game.

        Which, in the long run, makes it that much better for us.

        1. re: ipsedixit
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          foodwhisperer RE: ipsedixit Dec 10, 2013 06:03 PM

          Agreed. It keeps them honest. Up their game instead of resting on their laurels.

        2. re: strangemd
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          deepfry7 RE: strangemd Dec 11, 2013 10:50 AM

          strangemd, haven't been to either 15E or Nakazawa. Nakazawa is $150 for the sushi counter. Do you roughly the cost at 15E for a "similar" omakase experience? I've been wanting to go to 15E for awhile, but this thread is motivating me to make a reservation. Ha.

          1. re: deepfry7
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            SomeRandomIdiot RE: deepfry7 Dec 11, 2013 02:16 PM

            $120-140 gets you roughly 25 pieces at 15 East. $150 got me about 21 pieces at Nakazawa.

            1. re: SomeRandomIdiot
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              foodwhisperer RE: SomeRandomIdiot Dec 11, 2013 07:50 PM

              Sounds like a lot. Sushi Gari is 10 pieces for $150. Ichimura is roughly around 12 pieces plus sashimi starter for $150.
              I'll have to count next time at 15 East. i guess you count each piece of sashimi too. My bill at 15 East is always more than $140. It may depend on how many pieces of expensive items like otoro or hokkaido uni etc.

              1. re: foodwhisperer
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                deepfry7 RE: foodwhisperer Dec 11, 2013 09:05 PM

                >> My bill at 15 East is always more than $140.

                I assume just food bill only, foodwhisperer? Excluding tax, tip, alcohol?

                1. re: deepfry7
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                  foodwhisperer RE: deepfry7 Dec 11, 2013 09:55 PM

                  yes food. But I do get a lot to eat. Drinks add at least $100

                2. re: foodwhisperer
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                  SomeRandomIdiot RE: foodwhisperer Dec 12, 2013 07:12 AM

                  no sashimi. just nigiri. I usually stop at 25 cuz I just need a stopping point. I figure I could prolly eat 50-75 pieces but I don't wanna spend (140 x 3) for lunch.

                  1. re: SomeRandomIdiot
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                    foodwhisperer RE: SomeRandomIdiot Dec 12, 2013 07:20 AM

                    It seems like lunch is less expensive than dinner at 15 East. I've only had lunch there once, so I don't remember the prices

                    1. re: foodwhisperer
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                      SomeRandomIdiot RE: foodwhisperer Dec 12, 2013 07:27 AM

                      it's the same at lunch or dinner.

                  2. re: foodwhisperer
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                    swole RE: foodwhisperer Dec 12, 2013 11:47 AM

                    isn't gari more like 12 pieces for $125-130 (including tax and tip)?

                3. re: deepfry7
                  strangemd RE: deepfry7 Dec 12, 2013 08:43 AM

                  I would say, like your other respondents, that $150pp at 15E is about par, unless you start adding on pieces at the end.
                  And I would agree with Kosmose7: good experience, but not 4 stars in my universe. In addition, I remain troubled by the fact that the fish is pre-cut by Nakazawa's assistants. I've never seen that before at a top flight place.

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                sushiman RE: darren425 Dec 11, 2013 09:42 AM

                Hmmm, not best tako, not best anago, not best rice. By Wells admission.

                Ipso facto, not best sushi.

                Sounded to me like a man crush or a play for seats with Jiro.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sushiman
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                  Shirang RE: sushiman Dec 11, 2013 10:05 AM

                  I didnt think Nakazawa's akami, uni, and tamago were nothing to write home about either. But its still in the top tier of sushiyas in NYC.

                  1. re: sushiman
                    ipsedixit RE: sushiman Dec 11, 2013 10:10 AM

                    Never been there, and usually don't place much credence on critics, but a place certainly can be crowned "best overall" if it ranks No. 2 (or even 3) in all relevant subcategories.

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                    MarieLuncheonette RE: darren425 Dec 11, 2013 10:39 AM

                    perhaps i'm missing something but isn't $150 rather cheap for omakase of this caliber...?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MarieLuncheonette
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                      foodwhisperer RE: MarieLuncheonette Dec 11, 2013 11:25 AM

                      No. i.e. Ichimura at Brushstroke is $150.

                    2. kosmose7 RE: darren425 Dec 11, 2013 11:43 PM

                      Although I really enjoyed Nakazawa, I don't thank it is a four star sushiya at all. Chef Nakazawa's cheerful hospitality and preparation of live crustaceans were really what made the whole experience special. However, Its netas were just not the best quality available. Its nori (seaweed) could have been better. Its shari (vinegared rice) left something to be desired.

                      Nevertheless, its reasonable price tag of $150 made me shut up, especially comparing it to another overseas sushiya outside Japan, Sushi Shikon of Hong Kong, which has just received three stars in Hong Kong's Michelin guide 2014. Shikon charges HK$3,500 + 10%, which is equivalent to about U$380 before tax and tip. Strictly for quality alone, I would choose Sushi Shikon over Nakazawa. In terms of price-performance ratio, I will definitely choose Nakazawa.

                      That said, Nakazawa is one of top-tier sushiyas in New York no doubt. But four stars, together with EMP, Jean Georges, and Le Bernardin? I don't think so.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: kosmose7
                        ellenost RE: kosmose7 Dec 12, 2013 09:16 AM

                        Thanks for your evaluation. Now I won't feel so bad that they don't seat solo diners at the sushi bar.

                        1. re: kosmose7
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                          swole RE: kosmose7 Dec 12, 2013 11:46 AM

                          i think i agree with you here. the price tag is pretty reasonable, and i can see it being 2 or 3 stars. however, saying it's four stars (when no other japanese restaurant is) hurts me a bit.

                          also, i really, really can't stand the pre-cutting.

                          1. re: swole
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                            PorkyBelly RE: swole Dec 12, 2013 12:40 PM

                            not only was it pre-cut but it was cut poorly in my experience.

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                          Lacrosse_Gastronomic RE: darren425 Dec 12, 2013 11:51 AM

                          So, is Nakazawa unquestionably superior to Kurumazushi, which Wells demoted to one star a few weeks ago?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Lacrosse_Gastronomic
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                            foodwhisperer RE: Lacrosse_Gastronomic Dec 12, 2013 12:19 PM

                            I can't comment on Nakazawa yet because I haven't tried it. But I can comment on food critics and how much clout they have and how I usually disagree with them, especially Pete Wells. Why do people believe these guys?

                            1. re: foodwhisperer
                              ipsedixit RE: foodwhisperer Dec 12, 2013 02:08 PM

                              I don't know if it's so much "belief", fw, but more (at least for me) a point of reference.

                              If Wells (or any other critic) says X about Burger King, for example, and then says X+1 about McDonalds, then I know his point of view, preferences, tastes, etc. It helps me judge him judging others.

                              But at the end of the day, the ultimate arbiter is "you". Right?

                              1. re: ipsedixit
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                                foodwhisperer RE: ipsedixit Dec 12, 2013 08:37 PM

                                Yes you're correct. You can use them as a gauge but in the end it's 'you". I just feel bad for places that deserve more stars and don't get proper recognition.

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