New kid (just over) the border: Takeshi

I’ve been sitting on this since January, and not sure why because this place is really worth a visit. (Though NB: they still don’t have their liquor license.) It is yet another omakase restaurant, but with only 10 seats in a tiny storefront on Grand and the experience is special. And somehow not so precious, as you’d guess a place like this could be. Maybe it’s because the guy making your sushi is also a professional boxer.

Takeshi Sato mapped a circuitous route to his eponymous restaurant, and it goes like this: boxes in high school; wants to move to US to box; learns how to make sushi so he can make a living here; comes to NY at age 20; works as a sushi chef; returns to Japan to box professionally; comes back here to compete in Golden Gloves but keeps making sushi; goes pro; opens restaurant.

He’s not quite done with boxing, but for now, he’s full time behind the sushi bar. What I really appreciated is Sato forces you to eat and savor, because each piece comes out one at a time, and you don’t get another till he says so. Maybe that’s true with all omakase places? But I just loved the pace here. We had a steady stream of tea and hot towels, and I recommend the far corner, where you can watch the chef and watch the world go by. (We went for the $50 eight-course lunch, which they say takes 75 minutes.) There was uni and otoro, shrimp and cuttlefish.

The place is owned by (very) young first-time restaurateurs who knew Sato and wanted to set him up. They have given him all creative freedom over the menu. I would say this is a good first go.

28 Grand Street
917-675-0771 (text for reservations)
Closed Sundays



  1. We’ve been a few times and the quality of the sushi was excellent. Really nice addition to the area.

  2. Experienced the full 16 course and everything was amazing. Fish was fresh, everything was the right temperature, and watching him made the meal entertaining. Savored every bite and even tried several new things I probably wouldn’t have ordered on my own. Highly recommend for the experience and for the intimate ambiance.

  3. Would be worth mentioning that they have no liquor license

    • Yes, sorry. When I was there they said it was imminent (and that was Jan. 11!) so I figured by the time I published… I just checked in and they said they are (and have been) approved by the CB but still awaiting the license from the SLA.