Mon-Sat, 5:30pm-2:30am; Sun, closed
4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; N, Q, R at Lexington Ave.-59th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
On many nights, the small sushi bar is filled with hard-core sushi addicts and cluttered with reserve signs until well after 9 p.m. The establishment is poky and not very well appointed—the lighting’s dim, and on one of my visits, the carpets smelled of old turpentine. It had a similar following for many years when it was called Sushi Hatsu, but the old restaurant closed for a month, the original chef returned to Japan, and when it reopened, it was with the eponymous Mr. Seki behind the bar. For several years, he worked with the city’s most inventive sushi master, “Gari” Masatoshi, at Sushi of Gari, and he has brought many of the sensei’s tricks with him, including jalapeño as one of the favored seasonings. The chef’s basic omakase starts around $80. But if you’re in a spending mood, you can give him a rough figure and he’ll whip up an appropriate spread. You can have it delivered on an elaborate golden platter if you choose, or, if you’re sitting at the bar, he’ll serve it to you personally, dish by dish, in civilized little segments.