Daisuke Nakazawa, the apprentice of Jiro Ono (the subject of the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"), opened a restaurant in the West Village back in August.
Almost immediately, the reviews for Sushi Nakazawa were glowing, with critics and early diners calling it the best sushi restaurant in New York City.
The New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells recently tried the food at the 10-seat sushi bar, and gave it a raving four-star review — a rarity for the paper.
"He picked up a palmful of rice and began to serve one of the four most enjoyable and eye-opening sushi meals I have ever eaten," Wells said. "I had the other three at Sushi Nakazawa over the next few weeks."
So what made the food so special for Wells, one of the toughest food critics around? Each of the 21 sushi dishes served during each meal was not only delicious, but highly memorable. Wells explained in his review:
I remember precisely the dull luster of Mr. Nakazawa’s mackerel and the way its initial firmness gave way to a minor-key note of pickled fish and a major-key richness that kept building the longer I chewed. I can feel the warmth of just-poached blue shrimp from the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia, which had a flavor that was deep, clean and delicate at the same time. I can tell you about the burning-leaf smell of skipjack smoked over smoldering hay until it becomes a softer, aquatic version of aged Italian speck.
This is huge for Nakazawa, who appeared in the Jiro documentary as the senior apprentice who spent three months attempting to master tamagoyaki, a famous Japanese omelet dish. He immigrated to Seattle after the 2011 Japanese earthquake, and then again to New York City once New York restaurateur Alessandro Borgognone tracked him down in 2012 and convinced him to open a restaurant.
And now with Wells' glowing review, expect it to be a whole lot harder to try Nakazawa's sushi as he joins the ranks of the five other four-star restaurants in the city.
The price of the Omakase menu at Sushi Nakazawa is $150 per person at the sushi bar or $120 per person in the dining room.
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