Masayoshi Takayama, the sushi master whose $1,000-per-couple Masa is the priciest restaurant in town, is eyeing a storied Soho location for a presumably cheaper offshoot. Honmura An, the elegant soba-noodle spot on Mercer Street, closed earlier this year, and Masa wants it—for surprisingly sentimental reasons. “We are in the process of making a decision about what we might want to do with the space,” confirms Veda Nishikawa, Masa’s business manager. “Chef Masa himself misses Honmura An.” Does that mean he wants to go soba there, as Honmura An regular Jean-Georges Vongerichten considered when he contemplated the location? (Instead, he turned his Tribeca joint, 66, into a soba place.) Probably not. “Soba is very complicated to make; it’s not like Italian pasta,” Nishikawa says. Will it be a downtown version of his Time Warner Center restaurant? “That concept requires Masa to always be there cutting the sushi, and he can’t be in two places at once.” So, what then? “Masa’s first love is fish.”
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