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Home > Restaurants > Ichimura

Ichimura

69 Leonard St., New York, NY 10013 40.717681 -74.007563
nr. Church St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-404-4600 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi
  • Price Range: $$$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating: *

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review
Photo by Liz Clayman

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Official Website

sushiichimuranyc.com

Hours

Mon-Sat, 6pm-midnight; Sun, closed

Nearby Subway Stops

1 at Franklin St.; 6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.; A, C, E at Canal St.

Prices

Omakase: $300

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Dine at the Bar
  • Notable Chef
  • Special Occasion
  • Online Reservation

Alcohol

  • Sake and Soju
  • Full Bar

Reservations

Required

Profile

Not so long ago, Eurocentric chefs, with their haughty accents and bags of elaborate magic tricks, dominated the highest, most ethereal levels of the city’s big-money dining scene. But these days, thanks to a new generation of globe-trotting gourmands who prefer the sinful joys of fatty tuna belly to foie gras or a good cheese soufflé (or even a first-class steak), and thanks to the growing reputations of chefs like Masa Takayama here in New York and Jiro Ono in Tokyo, the wise old sushi master is king. In this simpler, comfort-addled one-star era, few chefs are showered by eager critics (like me) with more glowing multi-star reviews (hello, Mr. Nakazawa), and in discreet tasting rooms from Copenhagen to Bushwick, no style of gourmet dining has been more influential, or widely imitated, than the “chef’s choice” sushi omakase. But there have been signs of saturation, and we may be reaching a proverbial tipping point in the great sushi-master craze. Or so I thought glumly to myself as I hunkered down, along with assorted other food editors and (yes, all male) expense-account high rollers at Eiji Ichimura’s eponymous tasting room in a curiously bland little space down in Tribeca. It takes time, talent, and a certain pedigree to earn your way into the upper echelons of any rarefied cult or priesthood, and the modest, self-effacing Ichimura has certainly paid his dues. Unlike at Masa, or Sushi Nakazawa, or any of the other big-whale destinations, where typically only high-net-worth regulars are served by the great sushi godheads themselves, Ichimura is the only person onstage here. The chef is known for his mastery of subtle pickling and curing techniques from the old, pre-refrigeration days, when raw fish was sold from pushcarts around the fish markets of Tokyo, and several examples of this — slices of cool, fried whiting soaked in vinegar; pearly, vividly orange dots of salted salmon and cod roe — are served to start off the show, along with slivers of crunchy octopus and abalone sashimi, which we all sprinkle reverently with little mounds of artisanal sea salt. The 14-to-16-piece dinner that follows these concentrated little pleasures is more or less what I remember from my visits to the old Ichimura space, but without the sense of cozy intimacy and discovery (and, at $150 for dinner in the very early days, relative value) of the original restaurant. The pleasures of this stilted, slightly off-key Ichimura reboot might be too subtle for some, however, especially given the choice and variety available to the discerning, deep-pocketed diner during the latter states of what I’ll call peak omakase.

Ideal Meal

As with any classic chef’s tasting, omakase ingredients may vary from week to week, but pay attention to those great totems of the sushi experience: silvery gizzard shad, the Hokkaido uni, and the fattiest otoro.

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New York Magazine Review
Adam Platt's Full Review  (05/15/17)

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