Although the city's omakase scene is getting pretty crowded, a new project by Maki Kosaka, the sister restaurant of Michelin-starred Kosaka, might strike your fancy given the unconventionality of its offerings.
Tucked behind Maki Kosaka's main temaki counter, a new eight-seat omakase bar helmed by chef Sho Boo will officially open to the public at 55 West 19th Street tonight. A native of Osaka, the chef is "one of the very few female sushi chefs in the U.S. and even in Japan," according to an official press release about the opening. (In Japan, tradition calls for sushi chefs to be men.)
For $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity, diners will be treated to a regional form of omakase that might not necessarily look like the traditional nigiri-style sushi that New Yorkers are accustomed to. From a chef-selected amuse-bouche (that is: a bite-sized hors d'oeuvre) to some pressed cube sushi and pieces of temari ("handball" sushi), fans of the Japanese cuisine will likely revel in the novelty of the destination's menu.
To be clear: although the maki omakase experience is a completely new one debuting tonight, the hidden counter sits inside a restaurant, Maki Kosaka, that opened in July, 2020. Given the former restrictions on indoor dining, the team was not able to serve omakase until now.
Chef Boo is no stranger to small-but-mighty sushi destinations. Back in 2013, the cook ran the now-defunct Bugs, a 15-seat sushi restaurant that was praised for its inventive take on the cuisine.
The new counter spot also benefits from its association to Kosaka. Awarded a Michelin star earlier this year, the 18-seat, no-frills eatery by the West Village has been praised for both its look and food. "Fish is minimally embellished, relying instead on original sourcing and impeccable technique," reads the Michelin review. "The dining room flaunts a classic Japanese sensibility—outfitted with a counter for 12, a few tables, soft piano music, as well as an attentive staff that enhance the overall experience."
Alas, if you can't or are still reluctant to head to a brick-and-mortar restaurant and eat indoors but are really craving some good omakase, we suggest booking a slot with Tomokase, a full service, at-home sushi experience from the team behind TabeTomo and TomoTommo.
Whatever you decide, one thing is for sure: New York culinary wunderkinds are currently dishing out some damn fine sushi.