High-end omakase spots are built for special occasions. Whether you’re celebrating a fancy new promotion in the company of solely your corporate card, or going on a fifth date with someone aspiring to own a Fortune 500 company, these meals aren’t casual. Kusakabe is one of these fancy sushi spots. The Financial District place is an excellent option when you have the urge to spend a not-so-insignificant amount of money on very good fish—the quality of their sushi stands out.
Kusakabe has been around since 2014, so expect a night that runs on cruise control. It’s $198 for 18 courses, and you’re spit out in exactly two hours. As for service, it’s a tad impersonal. Servers watch you from all sides at all times, and clear plates like they’re androids on the cruise ship from WALL-E. Sitting at the long bar is where you’ll find the most signs of life as chefs brush soy sauce on flawless cuts of fish and grill yellowtail across the counter. The action is what you’re here for, anyway.
As you’d expect from a certified raw fish institution, the menu is predominantly your standard torched, kelp-cured, and uni-topped nigiri, plus small plates, sashimi, and dessert. Everything is prepared with the care Klay Thompson probably gives his boat. For example, the torched bluefin tuna nigiri, which dissolves on your tongue, will dare you to never look at tuna the same way again. And non-nigiri dishes, like velvety chawanmushi served in an adorable eggshell and the toro shabu shabu, will also leave a lasting impression.
Although Kusakabe may lack the personality of more intimate and lively omakase spots across town, like Ken or Omakase, a night at this long-standing establishment never disappoints.
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Omakase runs $198 per person. It’s 18 courses packed with fantastic nigiri, small bites like fried oysters and chawanmushi served in an eggshell, plus bigger dishes like shabu shabu with melt-in-your-mouth slices of toro. Expect to leave full.