photo credit: Sarah Park
Ju-Ni is a tiny, 12-seat sushi counter in NoPa and is the epitome of somewhere you file away for a special occasion. The 12-course meal is $220 (without drinks or extra dishes), it takes about two hours, and the staff is both super accommodating and happy to walk you through each step of the meal. And unlike a lot of other high-end sushi places, the space itself - with its white walls and large windows - feels much brighter and warmer than you’d expect (they also have a 14-seat outdoor sushi bar). This is one of our favorite omakase sushi meals in the city and while the space and service contribute to this, the reason you come here is for the incredible food.
Ju-Ni serves super traditional sushi and each dish is both simple and flawless. They source the highest quality fish, all of which is placed atop absolutely perfect sushi rice. Not too sticky, not too dry, and just the littlest hint of vinegar, it’s probably the best sushi rice we’ve ever had. Of all the bites - and there are a lot - the unagi, salmon roe with shaved monkfish, and charred toro with caviar are the three that most stand out. And while the other dishes do somewhat blend together, there’s never a lull over the course of the meal. There’s also a supplemental menu with things like Wagyu beef available once you’re done with your 12 courses. But unless you fasted for several days beforehand, you probably won’t need it.
This spot also isn’t somewhere you pop into on a whim. You need to make a reservation at Ju-Ni - usually about a month out - and we’d suggest trying for the 8pm of the three nightly reservation windows so you don’t feel rushed. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s also the best sushi we’ve had in a very long time.
Here are a few examples of what you can expect from a meal at Ju-Ni.
Just in case this piece of fatty tuna wasn’t enough for you, it’s topped with a dollop of caviar, which adds a nice salty kick on top of the rich toro.
Salmon Roe With Monkfish Pate
A mountain of roe topped with shaved, frozen monkfish. You eat it in one bite and it’s perfect.
Barbecued in a slightly sweet sauce, this eel is salty, sweet, and one of the most memorable bites you’ll have here.