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In today's world of restaurant glitz & glamour and making every attempt at standing out to get noticed by customers, there's something to be said for the exact opposite. No gimmicks or sideshows; the customers who sell out the dining room and sushi counter ever day & night are here for, you guessed it, the traditional sushi.
Located in Midtown, Sushi Ann's discreet restaurant front can almost go unnoticed in the Manhattan frenzy. The interior of the restaurant, just as humble as its exterior, is paneled in light wood walls, tables and chairs, a white color scheme and lanterns above the sushi counter strike a balance between light source and design. Since 2002 the sushi masters here, seven of them for the restaurant, are both the kitchen and show. Using only the freshest and seasonal seafood they show the utmost respect for their craft and the customer, earning them an honorable mention in the Michelin Guide. Speaking of customers, word around the sushi counter is that connoisseurs don't order off the menu, and that traditional sushi counters in Japan don't even have menus, placing focus only on what was caught that day.
One thing I had not seen before despite having dined at other sushi counters of this caliber, was the chefs walking around, and standing, on wooden crates behind the counter. I didn't ask if this was to help with height or support, both or neither. It was a pleasure sitting at the counter, discussing varieties of fish with Chef, who wiped my plate after every piece of nigiri to ensure fish oils didn't mix. Just one illustration of the high standards at Sushi Ann. Navigate the simple menu, offering only authentic items - think Blue Fin Tuna Flight - no tempura flakes or spicy mayo here. Or leave your meal up to the skilled chefs, with the Omakase, starting with the lightest fish and ending with the most fatty.
(Please note that I rearranged the order of the photos below, and this is not the order in which I was served the omakase). Kanpai!
Japanese Red Snapper
Chutoro Medium Fatty Tuna
Sushi Counter at Sushi Ann
For more information, or to upgrade your corporate lunch game, visit www.SushiAnn.net.
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