A new Omakase-only sushi room named Kosaka has opened in New York City’s West Village, and it’s a showstopper. The $125 menu is filled with chef-made selections of fresh fish from Japan and carefully chosen areas throughout the coastal United States. Throughout the two-hour dinner, diners are presented with a wide array of artfully crafted sushi, which is served on custom Japanese ceramics (made by artist Akihiro Nikaido), juxtaposed against a sleek and minimalistic walnut wood bar. Chef Yoshihiko Kousaka, a partner in the restaurant, spent the past 10 years at Jewel Bako – the East Village’s sushi Mecca.
Walking into the small room on West 13th Street you can’t help but be impressed with the beauty of the space. In true Japanese form, everything is very elegant and easy for the eyes to take-in. The dim room is highlighted only in areas of focus: the L-shaped sushi bar, the 10 seats placed around the bar and on two tables of four.
On a recent evening, before the restaurant officially opened, I experienced the spontaneous menu in all its glory. Watching the chef craft each piece of sushi by hand, the raw fish taken carefully out of a linen-lined wooden box housing what must have been thousands of dollars of premium Toro, was like watching an artist paint. As each item was laid before me on a desaturated slab of stone, I couldn’t help but to show my excitement – lifting the chop sticks up and snatching the sushi before it had a moment to rest.
My meal consisted of many pieces of sushi, highlights being: squid pasta with sesame sauce, Blue Fin tuna from North Carolina, medium Fatty tuna from North Carolina, Golden-Eyed snapper from Japan with salt and Japanese yuzu, fluke marinated in kelp, Golden amber jack from Japan, King salmon with smoked soy sauce and Sea Urchin (Uni) from Japan. The meal finished with the most delicate dark chocolate mochi with ricotta cheese and thyme. This is my idea of heaven.
Kosaka offers wonderful value for the cost and in an atmosphere that is as relaxing as it is beautiful. The restaurant is now open and I would suggest securing a reservation before word gets out – otherwise you might just have to prepare yourself to wait.