Sushi Sho New York, Opening TBD

Keiji Nakazawa of Sushi Sho will be opening in New York this summer, slated for July!

EDIT: “on 5th ave” 3 E 41st St.

Nakazawa-san gave an interview in Japan recently. I’m surprised I haven’t seen much if anything from American media, because the restaurant is opening in New York soon.

  • Location: across the library, I believe Andaz 5th Avenue.
  • The Andaz New York kept inviting him and he initially refused, but they began a tour of eating sushi in New York and he changed his mind a bit. He noticed the current sushi scene in New York is a luxurious “additive” style, as he points out ika with uni and caviar on top and other “extravagant” and “quirky additions.”
  • In contrast, he hopes to offer an essential style of Edomae sushi (literally the term is “subtraction sushi”). He discussed one take on Edomae being treating fish to match the rice, noting kohada as the prime example and also aging tuna. Though, he recognized that there is room for different styles.
  • Some okonomi will be offered. I didn’t catch exactly if it’ll be just an okonomi menu or, as at the honten location, about 60% is omakase and then people continue okonomi for the rest of the meal. Nakazawa-san said he wants diners at this location to be able to “enjoy themselves more freely and choose for themselves…in order to break the hard sushi way and make it a little more fun and soft.” (translation). Some reason for this being that young people can keep up with omakase’s pace (and drink pairing), but he wants the sushi experience here to be comfortable enough for people who don’t want to go quite so fast. He is also sensitive to the skyrocketing price of fish, and he wants to accommodate a range of people and appetites.
  • Omakase has some advantages, but the main advantages are for the restaurant. It is a challenge to offer high quality okonomi. He sees okonomi as a bit of a return to the old style, before “omakase” became its own type of cuisine as an entertainment event of sorts.
  • He says that vegan sushi cannot be ignored in America. He recounts a story at Sushi Sho where 11 people rented the bar and only upon showing up, announced that several were vegan. Being a gracious professional, Nakazawa-san accommodated them with inari, tofu, and rolls. To this end, he is sending an apprentice to train in Los Angeles to learn vegan ways.
  • Ingredients - there will be use of some local ingredients. He is working on a version of narezushi, with salmon and other fish being experimented now. (Think of how he transformed moi to be like a form of narezushi in Waikiki.) He will also be using local green apples. But just like at his Hawaii store, there will be some ingredients flown in, such as some fish from Japan, oysters from the West Coast, etc.
  • He respects Chinese cuisine for drying seafood. He will be in dialogue with Chinese restaurant Sazenka about drying and rehydrating techniques (!). This is going to be a game-changer with sushi, in my opinion. Seafood with the techniques of Cantonese dried shellfish in particular (abalone, scallop), innards (fish maw) Jinhua-style ham, can you imagine what Nakazawa-san can do with sushi? Personally, I can already imagine something like a dried abalone rehydrated with dashi, fried and served with an ankake dashi with the abalone’s juices and liver as a great otsumami. Or katsuo or magurobushi, made like ham, as a soup base. This dialogue of technique is super exciting.
  • For sake, he is working with various brewers, such as Aramasa - he asked for a special NY Sushi Sho production, and of course the Invisible Pink kijoshu. (I had the Invisible Pink Unicorn kijoshu with uni maki at Sushi Shunji and it was incredible. Pairing “Pink” with uni or ankimo will certainly be an incredible match). He’s also working with Hitakami, Hiroki, Hakurakusei, etc.
  • He will also promote shochu to pair.
  • He will have two Japanese sommeliers (one is training at Aramasa and the other at Hitakami).

thanks for the translation. yeah very surprising nobody in american media is picking up on this.

I also heard it’ll be in the andaz, but can’t imagine where, it’s a pretty small hotel.

did he mention how he’s going to split his time with hawaii? I heard he’s going to be full time in nyc.

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Yeah I can’t imagine it either. It’s not even on the Andaz website yet, but the engineering consultant website confirmed the “Sushi Sho at Andaz Hotel, New York, NY” location as well.

There wasn’t any mention of how he’ll split time across restaurants.

He did mention how important teamwork is at Sushi Sho, and he compared the work culture to that of kabuki which he recently attended.

Nakazawa-san likened it to a team performance. On that theatrical note, he said the prep / kitchen area, called itaba, is raised a little bit above the counter, so that diners can see all the action of slicing fish and grating wasabi. He said he wants various team members to be able to participate in this team act of showing the work and culture of the craftsmen.

Interestingly, Shigezo Fujimoto also compared sushi to kabuki. Part of that may have been his proximity to kabuki theatres (at Futaba) and artist clientele (at Haru), but the comparison is apt.

Nakazawa-san also mentioned rakugo, which is storytelling theatre.

He is trying to shepherd the future of sushi, not only searching for the ideal form of the products/meal, but also for “how young people will inherit sushi culture” and “the position of sushi in the world.” I took that to mean both the diner and the sushi chefs. He mentioned things are a bit too “individual” and regarding the price and culture around sushi at some places (such as auctioned reservations), it’s “gone a bit too far now.” It’s true that the prices of fish have skyrocketed even if profitability hasn’t - and prices of sushi restaurants in Japan reflect this (I realized on a recent trip that 40,000 yen is the new 25,000 yen menu, and 55,000 yen is what 35,000 yen menu was just a few years ago. Of course now there are a couple at over 100,000 yen). He questions how this pricing boom is impacting the culture of sushi.

I think this is a really cool move to focus on okonomi. It’s much harder for the restaurant and yet it’s easier for diners to misunderstand. Many bros may not know how to order, leaving them with an off impression of a meal. Timing prep work, having guaranteed profitability of covers, etc. are all more at risk. Perhaps there will be some gentle guidance along with okonomi ordering. But he also mentions that the proliferation of omakase, with its price, pace, and alcohol pairing now may be be a bit difficult for some diners to really enjoy (he mentioned the elderly). I also find it interesting that he’ll be accommodating to vegan…I’m not sure if the translation is literally vegan or vegetarian, but the intent is there. Let’s say vegetarian for now.

I’m hoping that his efforts will be understood and appreciated. I like that he’s bringing things back to the essential but also thinking about how to move sushi forward, whether it’s experimenting with salmon narezushi or how sushi culture will be inherited. I will definitely be visiting whenever the next time is that I visit New York.


Lastly, on this “ultimate stage” he says the primary thing is to communicate Japanese sushi culture. They considered making it very high-end (which sounds in part because of how difficult it is to run a restaurant in New York, citing how many Japanese restaurants planned to open in New York but either never followed through or they left). But in the end, the number of people who want an 80,000 jpy yen meal (~$600ish) is small, and he would not be able to communicate essential sushi culture as much without offering okonomi style. There will of course be experimentation, and the quality will be great (he will use but not rely only on local ingredients, but rather use Japanese fish to raise the quality). But, the overall intention seems to be to spread sushi culture through okonomi and this style of “subtraction sushi” (so, not the caviar, gold flake, and truffle on uni on top of toro kind of thing that you see in NYC) and education on proper pairings. He says that in the future, NY may have like “Bistro Sushi Sho.” While he’s attracted to the idea of simply making rice in a southern island in Japan, he’s fired up for this new project in NYC since it’s important for the sushi culture.


and la

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Main counter is made of hinoki (cypress). VIP area (private room?), is made of jindai sugi (cedar). Special bizenyaki for sake and tea ware, also Arita porcelain plates to be used.

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reliable source tells me it’s pushed back to september now


There are NYC bloggers who posted about this dating back to late 2021, including the Bryant Park location.

The issue is that the opening has been pushed back frequently for a variety of reasons. Here’s an article from Japan where Nakazawa-San says he’s going to leave Hawaii in October 2022:

I see someone above posted it’s now planned for September, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Nakazawa-san enjoys new challenges, so I suspect he’ll go “all in” on the NYC concept, and will thus be overseeing the endeavor in person, at least during its initial phases (that is, once he commits to the project).

I’m not sure if the okonomi format will go towards achieving his goal of communicating sushi culture to the at-large dining crowd in New York who will go to a place like Sho. I’m imagining Wall Street bros will still order 20+ pieces of honmaguro o-toro and nothing else, just to flex.

I agree wholeheartedly with this.

If he really wants to go “all in” and stay true to the roots of Edomae Sushi (and what made him so successful in Hawaii), let’s see some local fish on the menu. Doesn’t have to be from the Hudson - though that’d be wild - but Long Island Sound is fine too

His definition of “local” for Hawaii was all of America. So I would assume local in Ny would probably be similar.

Gowanus Canal area in Bklyn isn’t fully gentrified yet and I’ll bet there’s still some local 2-headed day-glo fish available.

I’m sure it’ll taste delightful after topping it with his signature 3-year pickled watermelon rinds.

seems like october is more likely, chatter is about finishing construction and inspections/permits now, but hey they will have aramasa.

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Not happening this year. Very delayed.
Not even liquor license yet, you can check public records… and it takes a long time to get it so…
Most likely next year spring!

Chef just arrived in NYC this week though !