Sushi Ginza Onodera
This is one of the most expensive sushi places in NYC. Likely 2nd to Masa, the only 3-star place I won't visit. (That's for another day.) Dinner here runs $650 or so. The reviews are off the charts but most say to just go for the relatively "reasonable" lunch menu ($200-250+ depending on what you select).
The experience as a whole is truly stellar. The room is gorgeous and feels very Japanese. Minimalist, naturalist and precise. The chefs each appeared so neat and tidy and focused that you get a feeling like "I want to eat whatever these men produce." It was an exciting entry, with front of house staff taking care of you at a 2 or 3 star level.
Even the staffing demonstrated a high level of service. 3 chefs behind the counter, at least one in the back, 2 servers and an active maitre d to serve 16 guests. You could see where your money was going. Take a look at the video below of one of the chefs making sushi. Truly art in its highest form. I could have watched him all afternoon.
The start of the meal was slow. Our seating was at 11:30am and by 12:00pm, we had been served a single dish (the chawanmushi). But at noon, the fish began at a very respectable pace and continued for almost an hour. With each piece, the server would show you a photo of the fish you were eating on a tablet and explain where it came from.
The fish was extremely fresh. It tasted as if right out of the ocean. Placed atop an expert bed of sushi rice and just the right amount of wasabi. Every bite was outstanding, with a few really making you marvel at the textures and flavors produced in your mouth. The uni was the best I have ever enjoyed.
Incredibly, the toro rolls disappointed. I'm not sure how that's possible. It immediately reminded me of the A5 wagyu at Kaiseke Room by Yamada. But as a whole, the meal was spectacular. Even the dessert was truly phenomenal.
I would more likely return to Sushi Zo, not here. The meal there was more reasonably priced and included a greater variety of dishes to enjoy. But I'm glad to have visited. It's truly an oasis of the best of Japan right here in the middle of New York City.