Ichimura at Brushstroke sounds like a pop-up restaurant in a Greenpoint art studio, or maybe one of those collaborations between a famous name and a clothing store, like Elmo for H&M; (skinny jeans and Muppet fur!). It is neither of those things. Ichimura is a tiny, eight-seat omakase bar located within David Bouley’s Japanese restaurant Brushstroke, operated by Chef Eiji Ichimura - which explains the name. You have to be pretty damn good at what you do to get David Bouley to give you a section of one of his restaurants, let alone name it after you. And Chef Ichimura is most certainly good. He’s clearly been given some freedom, too. Though Ichimura shares an entrance and a drink menu with Brushstroke, it’s an entirely separate restaurant otherwise.
To start, there is no food menu here. Ichimrura is omakase-only, and the entry point is $150. After you order a drink, the chef will ask you if you have any allergies or preferences, and the food starts coming. In all, this was our favorite sushi meal in quite some time, and we eat a lot of sushi. Well, I do at least. And what I’ll say is that although Ichimura is very expensive, you absolutely get what you pay for. That’s what really matters when you sit down for omakase anyway, right? You certainly shouldn’t have come here expecting a deal. Now get on the phone and make a reservation. And carry on for a Food Rundown that reads like erotic fiction.
The meal started off with an appetizer plate of a number of different bites. Ours featured, among other things, a tender baby squid, cured uni that was even richer and more briney than the fresh stuff, herring roe that provided the perfect amount of resistance before it popped, a shiso leaf filled with cured tuna, a cured scallop, and an excellent bite of octopus with wasabi and plum. Each one of these things was new to us, and absolutely delicious. Along with the appetizer plate came a few small dishes featuring some of the best mackerel and tuna we’ve tasted, both dressed with soy sauce and scallions.