The best sushi bar in New York.
I finally had the opportunity to dine at Brushstroke, which is the best sushi bar in New York, as far as I'm concerned!
The place only has a counter with 6 seats. There's no menu; you're encouraged to ask the sushi chef there and see which fish are the best in season.
There are many sushi restaurants here in New York, but most of them seem to be Americanized in some way. However, Brushstroke keeps it authentic. The sushi chef prepared several kinds of sashimi and sushi for us. The chef gives you descriptions about each of them. Sea urchin and extra fatty-tuna tasted great, of course. Some of the fish that were caught fresh near New York were delicious as well.
I was very happy to eat such delicious sushi with fantastic sake in New York. No wonder it's so hard to make a reservation here.
I am really concerned I would not be able to enjoy sushi elsewhere any more
......I have been to many good Japanese restaurants in the city, 15 East, Azabu, Yashuda, Masa etc. But I had not found any of them can compare to the quality and variety of fish that I had in Tokyo, until last night I was invited to a dinner at Ichimura. My search for the perfect (on the east coast of US) sashimi/sushi ended here.
Disclaimer. Friend is a friend of Ichimura san. So we got some special treats that usually not served to regular customers. Being said that, service and food here definitely surpass its peers. The fish was fresh and perfectly seasoned. One thing that sets Ichimura san beyond other traditional edo style sushi places is that he creates and experiments. Aged abalone anyone? Sea pineapple con uni?!
During our 3 plus hour dinner, I heard myself said "foodgasm" more than 3 times!
My favorite of the night was Japanese sardine, aged Japanese mackerel, and domestic sea urchin on Japanese sea urchin. Actually, every bite I had was perfect. Picture worth thousand words. Just check out my pictures. Better still, pick up your phone and make your reservation now!
Ichimura At Brushstroke
a plate to start off for my 's 30th : , , shima aji, , red snapper, fluke & . pic stagram
w ankaki, Dungeness , chives, black & bonito - pic stagram
and the begins! fluke, kinmadai belly, aji (horse mackerel), saori (needlefish), kibi from Kyushu & aka mutsu from ishikawa pic stagram
grating + more : two kinds of (tuna belly), two kinds of ( - Maine & ) & 3 kinds of toro - pic stagram
my idea of : guts! thank you ! pic stagram
happy 30th ! in ! pic stagram
Ever since Ichimura at Brushstroke, the hidden sushi bar within the Brushstroke restaurant, was featured in the New York Times, it has been difficult to make a reservation. They need to be made at least one month in advance. Fortunately, my friend had reserved 2 seats and I was given the privilege of sitting at the sushi bar. Immediately after sitting, I was impressed by the cleanliness of Chef Ichimura's workplace and automatically felt there was something different from other sushi places. There is no menu; sushi is served Omakase-style starting at $150. Of course, it's expensive, but it's worth every penny. Just try it.
Food: Wonderful without question! Definitely top-notch and my favorite sushi place so far. Ichimura prepared the sashimi and sushi with a graceful economy of movement, and all the sushi I had was amazing.
Note: Price of Nihonshu (Sake) is relatively expensive for small portions...
My favorite sushi places (update from time to time)
1.Kanoyama Sake Bar
Service: Great. The server was professional and attentive. I was comfortable and relaxed to enjoy the meal. Because the kitchen (where the drinks were prepared) is a little far from the sushi bar, it took time to deliver the drinks each time we ordered them.
Decor: Modern and simple decor - the only thing appropriate for enjoying Ichimura's sushi world. Good for a date, with friends (a party for 3 or less), business, or alone.
Ichimura At Brushstroke
Celebrating greed76 'a birthday at - a beautiful plate of sashimi including giant clam and medium fatty tuna
A few of the gorgeous pieces of sushi from the at including sea eel, jack mackerel and bluefin tuna #HBD greed76
A close up of the Ebi with the uni on top of uni peeking in the back
Three layers of toro!!
Chawanmushi lighter than air!! Egg custard with blue crab, ginger, chives and black truffles
Tribeca. $150+ per person. Omakase Only.
So here's the thing about Ichimura....there's no better sushi experience in New York City.
There is not much else to say about Ichimura that hasn't already been said. Before September 25, 2012, Chef Eji Ichimura's 8 seat spot hid in relative anonymity within David Bouley's Brushstroke restaurant. Then Pete Wells gave Ichimura 3 stars in the New York Times and reservations became more difficult than finding a cyclist who stops at a red light. I was fortunate to get a last minute reservation at one of the 8 spots at the sushi bar for the second seating, and was extremely surprised that Ichimura lived up to the hype.
If you've read the "Essentials" part of this website, you'll know that one of my favourite hallmarks of a great sushi restaurant is remaining somewhat hidden. There is a sushi bar at Brushstroke by David Bouley, but Ichimura is different; it is off to the side, through a small opening. The sushi bar is small, with veteran sushi chef Eiji Ichimura dishing out his omakase to 8 people at once. There is only waiter attending to the patrons at Ichimura, and for all intents and purposes, Ichimura is completely isolated from Brushstroke.
At Ichimura, the only option for food is the $150 per person omakase. It's always a bitter pill to swallow to spend that much, especially when - as a dutiful boyfriend - I was paying for two. Given the effort that went into getting the reservation, and the meal that subsequently followed, it was about as worth it as could have been expected.
After starting with a Japanese Egg Custard, Ichimura did something that I have rarely seen during an omakase; he combined different appetizers into one course. Usually Sushi Chefs will separate out the appetizers in order to make it seem like you are receiving more dishes (and therefore value). Each of what he presented here were good enough to stand alone; but together they work as a dish I've fondly remembered as " Authentic Japanese Appetizers, 7 ways". The highlight was undoubtedly the cooked Uni (second from left), which easily hit the note of something I've never tried before.
One of the main differences between the Ichimura omakase and other high-end versions is the absence of any cooked dishes in the entree portion of the meal. I prefer it this way usually, mainly because if a chef starts to do too much he becomes a jack of all trades, master of none. That theory was furthered with the sashimi portion of the meal, which featured 5 unique fishes, all sourced directly from Japan. Taking pictures inside a fancy restaurant has the potential to make someone feel like an idiot, so some of the shots are unfortunately a bit rushed and out of focus.
I'd love to say that the Sushi course finished the meal, but "finish" wouldn't exactly be an appropriate word. That's mainly due to the fact that it just kept going, and going, and going. I'm not going to be overly dramatic and say that Ichimura is doing that for the show (because he's happy to take the money), but on some level I'm sure he wants to ensure that each customer leaves content with the experience that their $150 (plus tax and tip) cost.
I have no Japanese ancestry, but I imagine that when sushi was first conceived, this was what my non-forefathers had in mind. The rice is perfect at room temperature, and the fish are all individually unique, but uniform in freshness. The course that struck me the most was the Uni. By itself, it's usually delicious, but check out the absence of seaweed around the outside of the nigiri. This is possible because the Uni is so fresh, it holds in place without needing any assistance. It literally is the very definition of food porn. Well maybe not literally since I didn't watch it on foodhub.com, but you get my drift.
The meal concluded with Ichimura asking us if we wanted anything else, and so I requested more Uni and Anago (Sea Eel). When you're at one of the best sushi restaurants outside of Japan, you don't turn down any extras.
Ichimura in Brush Stroke
the most incredible dinner at Ichimura at brushstrokenyc w whoamieating started w this plate of small bites: firefly squid w a miso sauce, abalone liver , steamed abalone, this funky super creamy tofu, baby eel w pepper & ponzu & finally squid stuffed w its own roe. every dish was artfully prepared and so elegant yet complex. omakase squid abalone eel tofu
Ichimura at Brushstroke – Our Jiro!
The Pants visited Brushstroke over a year ago, and found that the bar area there was odd… great design, but the space didn’t attract a bar-menu type of crowd, nor would it be a place you’d go for a drink before dinner besides Brushstroke. I have no idea when, but sometime in the recent past, Chef Ichimura took over and turned the Brushstroke bar space into an 8-seat sushi bar. The “hidden,” tiny, and unexpected sushi bar location is similar to the 3-Michelin-starred sushi outposts across the world in Japan, and as soon as Pete Wells uncovered Ichimura to the foodie world with his review back in September, I couldn’t wait to plop myself down in front of Mr. Ichimura and sample his magic.
Getting a reservation wasn’t a simple task, so make sure you plan ahead – there are basically two seatings where they stagger the times of the 8 lucky guests – so although 9PM sounds late, there will definitely be people arriving after you… and you may even be annoyed, as I was, when you aren’t getting Ichimura’s undivided attention! Another important thing to note – I have batted my eyelashes at every sushi chef from NYC to Japan, and the masters just do NOT care… except Ichimura; he may be the most precious and engaging sushi chef on the planet.
Dinner is a set Omakase; Ichimura will personally ask if you have any preferences or allergies/dislikes, and then offers to start the meal off with crab chawanmushi, which you do not want to decline. Although chawanmushi is technically an egg custard, the bowl presented in front of you is more like a soup (and EXTREMELY hot, so don’t sear your tongue like I did), and the tender crab just melts in your mouth. After this came a sampler plate, which included 6 little bites: monkfish liver, a mushroom salad, a fancy seaweed-type salad, a clam, trout caviar, and a smokey piece of cooked toro. Everything was great, but at this point, Mr. Ichimura had started slicing our sashimi and I was ready to rock (and roll, haha). I almost forgot to mention that with this sampler comes a small bowl with a large piece of uni, in a salty water that only accentuates the awesome flavors of this special roe.
The first round of sashimi was mostly white fish, about 5 different varieties with two pieces of each, and then 3 tuna varieties swiftly replaced their spots. The toro, cut into little blocks, may have been the best I have tasted outside of Japan. After this, Mr. Ichimura handed us pieces of sushi, and even presented soy sauce dishes which is generally a big no-no in the serious sushi world. Upon asking him, he laughed and told me he will let me know which he recommends using soy sauce for so I didn’t have to worry about offending him.
Besides one of the best pieces of uni I have ever eaten, adorned with a dollop of freshly grated wasabi, we were obsessed with a piece of baby red snapper. Something about this particular fish was magical, and although we also enjoyed the more traditional “edo” style pieces (the chef cures them himself which lends a vinegary, smokey taste) and toro, this white fish stole the show. Mr. Ichimura asked us if we wanted any repeats when we were done, so of course we ordered another taste of our favorites (uni, toro, and the baby red snapper).
At this point, the teapots of sake and overall sushi high made us giddy, so we ordered dessert. Although the Pants usually skips the sweet stuff, we were intrigued by the Mirin and Soy Sauce Ice Cream and decided to give it a try. Once put in front of us, Mr. Ichimura came over and placed some fresh wasabi on the soy sauce ice cream, smiled, and told us to trust him. I’d probably trust him with my life! This was an excellent and unique twist to a mainly traditional omakase dinner.
I’m not sure everyone will agree, or even understand Ichimura unless you are a totally sushi whore like me; the sushi couldn’t be fresher, but there are no bells and whistles beyond that to justify the steep price tag. But if I were you, I’d pick up the phone and get your tush onto one of those 8 seats as soon as you can!
Sampler of Amazingness
Select Sashimi from the Omakase
The Pants' favorite Baby Red Snapper Sushi
Edo Style Mackerel
Mirin and Soy Sauce Ice Cream
pants at a glance
NYC: Ichimura at Brushstroke & it's new 2 Michelin Star
Award season for foodies is here! I couldn't care less about which movies win an Oscar, but am all ears when the Michelin Guide releases their list for the year. Even if I don't agree with the ratings all the time (
umm, just how did Pok Pok NY get a Michelin star?
), their stars are definitely one of the most recognized. It's provides great enjoyment to me to see who gains and loses a star.
One of the most surprising news to me for the
is for Sushi Nakazawa to not get any stars, but for Ichimura to make the jump to two Michelin stars! To put things in perspective, there are now 58 one Michelin star restaurants in NYC, but only 9 two Michelin star rated ones. That extra star is a HUGE deal.
So let's talk about Ichimura. The first time I realized that I absolutely needed to eat here was when I saw this picture of a triple stack of otoro. I mean... just look at it!
I mentioned earlier last November when I wrote about my first ever omakase at
, that I'm a sushi noob. While I can distinguish really fresh sushi from the average sushi joint, I'm still working on that sushi tasting palette. I mean, like,
getting into it. Figuring out what temperature I prefer my rice to be. Just how vinegary should the rice be. What makes that perfect cut on a fish want to eat. You know, the nit-picking stuff.
Ichimura at Brushstroke was my second "fancy" omakase. I've had numerous foodie friends who tell me that this is on the top of their list, and one even claims that Nakazawa is nothing compared to Ichimura. Strong words, but I wanted to see for myself. J and I decided to come for his birthday in June 2014. As it turns out, just a week before we made the ressie, they raised the price of their omakase, from $160 to now $180. Painful, but worth it.
Right off the bat, you'll notice that chef Eiji Ichimura is the only person behind the sushi counter serving 8 eager guests. J and I came here a few minutes late, so everyone was already eating their appetizers. Don't be foolish, come on time!!
Enjoyed our 4 appetizer bites, among them were monkfish liver, octopus, uni and some crab on a chip. As we were eating the pre-prepared bites, Ichimura-san was preparing for our sashimi course. Really enjoyed the toro, giant clam and always can appreciate freshly grated sushi. We also ordered some sake which came in the cutest kettle with an ice holder in the middle of it to keep it cold.
The one thing that I was looking forward to the most was this Truffled Chawanmushi with Crab Meat. I've always loved the chinese version of steamed eggs over rice, and chawanmushi is just that. Soft and delicately steamed eggs, topped with an aromatic truffled broth. Just a hint of umami with the crab. Yum-o!
The rest of the meal consisted of nigiri sushi which I decided not to take meticulous notes on throughout the meal. Please enjoy the pictures...
Up until this point, J and I were thoroughly enjoying every single bite. You'll find Ichimura-san very soft-spoken, almost sometimes like he's whispering. Almost like you're going to your friend's nice Japanese grandpa's place. Be polite!
14 pieces of sushi later, I saw Chef take out a large box he kept in the refrigerated cabinet behind him. Out comes his box of perfectly prepared chutoro and otoro. The color on them is perfection, very on trend with a beautiful ombre gradients of pink.
The first piece was a stack of
, medium fatty tuna.
But I had my eye on this triple stack of
the whole time. 3 beautiful thin slices of fatty tuna stacked on top of each other. So drool worthy, melt in your mouth goodness. Tasted like butter of the sea. At this point, I have to point out that a girl who was sitting next to us was visually full and she was almost about to give this piece to her date. It's been a lot of food, but I have a good appetite so I definitely ate it with the quickness.
The final dish to end the night was the only cooked fish of the night, this freshwater eel with a thick unagi sauce that was sweet enough to make this a savory yet sweet dessert.
Since it was J's birthday, we ordered a small dessert to celebrate, a panna cotta topped with a gold flake.
All in all, I found the meal extremely delightful and would recommend it to anyone who's looking for a wonderful sushi omakase. The atmosphere here was a lot more relaxed and quite since there were only about 10 people in the hidden dining room at a time, 8 guests eating, Ichimura-san behind the counter, and the waiter who does all the front of the house stuff.
The walls were also super cool, if you look closely, you'll see that it's made of piles an piles of books stacked in different ways to make a wall.
The main notable differences to me between Sushi Nakazawa and Ichimura at Brushstroke is that you will get more of a variety of food at Ichimura. You start off with 4 bites, then 5-6 pieces of sashimi and a lovely chawanmushi before you start your 17 piece nigiri course.
You also get the full undivided attention of Ichimura-san who is the only person preparing your food. At Nakazawa, there were often sous-chefs who helped him with the preparation. In terms of actual fish quality, rice temperature and flavoring, I'm afraid I'm too much of a sushi-noob to make a full on distinction. I enjoyed both! From this dining experience, I wasn't too surprised that Ichimura gained that extra star. It definitely belongs in the ranks of one of the best meals I've ever had.
I also loved the story of how Chef Eiji Ichimura got started as a dish-washer at a Japanese restaurant, learning how to make sushi by only watching chefs and practicing himself at night. From dish-washer to two Michelin Stars, a big congratulations to Ichimura-san and his team for this amazing accomplishment! It is well deserved.
Ichimura at Brushstroke
Because this one had appeared in the New York Times a little while ago, it was pretty hard to get a reservation. Until now, in order for this place to not get overcrowded, it was absolutely required to make a reservation, and was a bit of a secret restaurant. (Sorry for revealing the secret).
Ichimura at Brushstroke is the bar that was established inside of David Bouley’s traditional Japanese course restaurant, Brushstroke. It was a pretty small space with only about 8 or 9 seats at the counter.
The one making the sushi is the general of the famous Midtown Sushi Ichimura, who has lived in NY for many years, and whom there is not a single Japanese person who does not know his name: Ichimura-san.
Here you can enjoy the luxurious taste of anything and everything that Ichimura-san makes by himself, a flavor that you cannot even try in Japan.
No matter what you order here, everything is quite a delicacy.
(These are photos that I took on a few different occasions, so I didn’t necessarily eat all of this on the same day)
Everything here is a charming delicacy, that you would think that every day is New Year’s or some kind of celebration.
This was the shirako (soft roe)
Japanese Style Truffle Chawan-mushi Egg Custard
There is nothing else I can say about the sushi. The rice, the way it was rolled, the size, the vinegar, and the balance with the sashimi, was the best.
Also, the sashimi was pretty aged and had a deep and delicious flavor.
Ahh I’m drooling just by writing about it…
This was the best. But because it was actually in the NY Times and requires reservations, it’s a little difficult to get in.
I know it’s for the best of the store, but we’re a little saddened by that fact.
I am so happy I was able to find such an authentic sushi place right here in NY!
Ichimura in Brush Stroke
tbt to the incredible sushi dinner at Ichimura at brushstrokenyc w whoamieating last week. I couldn't decide what piece was my fave (I think aji or raw ebi)... it was so incredible from beginning to end. this was one of the prettiest: two glistening pieces of chutoro (medium fatty tuna), one aged to give different flavor profile than the other. Ichimura is doing something completely unique & really amazing. chutoro omakase nigiri tuna latergram
Brushstroke is a Michelin acclaimed restaurant that serves Japanese food. They are located in Tribeca in New York on Hudson Street. This restaurant has a four star rating with many four and five star ratings
Many people who eat here enjoy the food very much. Some in particular like the egg custard soup, red miso soup and some of fine sushi they serve. Many people enjoy the quality of the food for the price that it is sold for.
As for the ambience of this particular restaurant, reviewers state that it is very upscale with an average noise level. People say this is a good place to bring groups but not so great to bring children.
Many reviewers like the staff that is working here. They really enjoy the attentiveness of the staff and how friendly they are. This restaurant has take out, and delivery options. This restaurant does accept multiple forms of payment.