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Dec 10, 2013 01:58 PM

Sushi Nakazawa - 4 stars from NY Times

Jiro's apprentice Daisuke Nakazawa just earned four stars from Pete Wells. Here's the review:

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    1. 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

        It just makes everyone "up" their game.

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

        1. re: ipsedixit

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

        2. re: strangemd

          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

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

            1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

              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

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

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

                1. re: deepfry7

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

                2. re: foodwhisperer

                  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

                    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

                  2. re: foodwhisperer

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

                3. re: deepfry7

                  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.

              2. 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

                  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

                    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.

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. 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

                        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

                          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

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