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12 Sushi Restaurants With Only 12 Seats—and Under

Jiro Dreams of Sushi protégé Daisuke Nakazaw is opening his own 10-seat omakase bar in New York. More like this, here

To the joy of New York’s omakase diners, an 11-year mentee of Tokyo’s Jiro Ono—yes, the Jiro of the beautifully shot documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi—is the chef behind the bar at Sushi Nakazawa, opening August 19th. Daisuke Nakazawa was senior apprentice to the 85-year-old sushi master, who owns the 10-seat, three-Michelin-starred omakase restaurant in the film. The bar at Sushi Nakazawa, owned by Maurizio de Rosa and Alessandro Borgognone, will also seat a lucky 10 until September, when the restaurant’s full dining room opens. Below, we round up a few more sushi restaurants with very limited capacities.


New York

The restaurant: Sushi Nakazawa, 23 Commerce Street, 212-924-2212
Total seats: 10
Chef at the helm: Daisuke Nakazawa of Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo and Shiro’s in Seattle
What to know: Nakazawa will serve omakase tastings paired with sake. Reservations are for parties of two max, and a full dining room at the restaurant opens in September.

The restaurant: Tanoshi, 1372 York Avenue, 646-727-9056
Total seats: 10
Chef at the helm: Toshio Oguma of Morimoto in New York and Napa
What to know: The restaurant serves three rounds per day at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. The chef’s specialty is “loosey sushi,” intended to dissolve upon eating. (Also, eat with your fingers.)

The restaurant: Ichimura at Brushstroke, 163 Duane Street, 212-791-3771
Total seats: 12
Chef at the helm: Eiji Ichimura of New York’s Ichimura
What to know: David Bouley redesigned his bar at Brushstroke to showcase chef Ichimura’s expertise to glowing reviews. Omakase menus start at $160.

The restaurant: Sushi Ko, 91 Clinton Street, 917-734-5857
Total seats: 11
Chef at the helm: John Daley of Masa and 15 East
What to know: The Lower East Side restaurant serves omakase offerings in three courses ($75), five courses ($125) and seven courses ($175), or full omakase ($200).


Los Angeles

The restaurant: Nowaza Bar, 212 North Cañon Drive
Total seats: 10
Chef at the helm: Osamu Fujita of Marssa Restaurant in Las Vegas (also a friend and mentee of sushi master Kazunori Nozawa)
What to know: Reservation-only seatings are $150 per person Monday through Saturday at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The restaurant: Urasawa, 218 N Rodeo Drive, 310-247-8939
Total seats: 10
Chef at the helm: Hiroyuki Urasawa
What to know: In 2011, Urasawa was ranked the number-two most expensive restaurant in the U.S. (after Masa in New York). The average bill is said to be $1,111.


San Francisco

The restaurant: Tekka, 537 Balboa Street, 415-221-8455
Total seats: 11
What to know: Unlike most of its limited-capacity counterparts, this restaurant doesn’t take reservations. Seating times are 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.



The restaurant: Kinchan Sushi, 500 Ala Moana Blvd, 808-534-0088
Total seats: 12
What to know: A local hotspot, the Restaurant Row sushi bar offers a 10-course omakase menu.



The restaurant: Sushi Tetsu, 12 Jerusalem Passage, +44 20 3217 0090
Total seats: 7
Chef at the helm: Toru Takahashi of Nobu
What to know: The chef’s wife Harumi runs front of house. Eat a la carte or opt for the full omakase.



The restaurant: Sushi Saito, 1-9-15 Akasaka, +81 3 3589 4412
Total seats: 7
Chef at the helm: Patron Takashi Saito, one of Japan’s youngest sushi master chefs
What to know: The other three-Michelin-starred sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Chef Saito lets his fish “rest” from one to 20 days, causing the flesh to relax for a more tender, flavorful bite.

The restaurant: Sushi Dai, 5-2-1 Tsukiji, +81 3-3547-6797
Total seats: 12
What to know: For the sushi’for-breakfast types. The wait for a seat here lasts at least two hours.

The restaurant: Sushi Shin, XI 3F 4-3-10 Nishi-Azabu
Total seats: 12
Chef at the helm: Shintaro Suzuki—at 39, he’s another young pro.
What to know: The same way chef Ono’s Sukiyabashi Jiro is modestly located in a Tokyo subway, this restaurant calls the third floor of a nondescript building its home.