It’s no surprise that Japan-philes flock to this austere restaurant: Those new to the cuisine might not know what to make of the tiny cube of green-tea tofu that’s served as an amuse-bouche, or the shrimp heads floating in the miso soup. Entrées feature classic maki (no Elvis roll here), sushi and sashimi, and little else. Put yourself in the hands of chef-owner Hideo Kuribara and you’ll be richly rewarded. A special might include sushi pieces topped with burstingly fresh salmon roe, the choicest slice of fatty tuna or a generous mound of shredded, fresh crab. Kuribara’s attention to quality and detail is ferocious: The wasabi is real (a rare luxury), and the intensely flavored, almost bitter, green-tea ice cream is house-made.
136 W Houston St
|Cross street:||between MacDougal and Sullivan Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Sat 6pm–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: C, E to Spring St; 1 to Houston St|
|Price:||Average main course: $15. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|