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"Serving Vegan Sushi & Vegan Japanese Sake"

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By Kosuke Kuji

We discussed Nanbu Bijin obtaining the first vegan certification in the world for Japanese sake. Many Japanese nationals don’t know the term vegan, so naturally, vegan restaurants were not widely known in Japan. However, many foreigners visiting Japan ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are vegetarians, for whom serving meals that meet their dietary requirements is a challenge, even in the capital Tokyo.

Restaurant “Gonpachi” in West Asabu city, renowned as the place where former Prime Minster Koizumi dined with former President Bush – started serving vegan sushi with vegan Japanese sake.

Vegan sushi was served first before vegan Japanese sake was introduced on September 18 to offer vegan and vegetarian customers a safe combination of authentic Japanese sushi with Japanese sake.

This is a major development since Gonpachi is probably the most renowned restaurant in Japan to foreign visitors. A high ratio of foreign customers instigated the instantaneous availability of vegan sushi with vegan Japanese sake for foreigners both visiting and residing in Japan.

Some data suggests vegan customers spend twice to three times the average customer spending on meals.

In the U.S., Whole Foods is placing great effort into vegan cuisine. How Gonpachi resolves this challenge is greatly anticipated.


「ヴィーガン寿司とヴィーガン酒を日本で」

前回南部美人では世界初のヴィーガン認証を日本酒で取得したお話をしました。

日本人はヴィーガンという言葉すら知らない人が多く、当然日本国内では今までヴィーガン専門のレストランなどはあまりありませんでした。

しかし、今年のラグビーワールドカップ、そして2020年の東京オリンピック・パラリンピックに向けて、多くの外国人が日本にもやってくるようになりました。

その中の一部はヴィーガンやベジタリアンの外国人も多く、そういった人たちが安心して食事をするのが難しい状況でした。それも日本の首都東京ですら。

そんな中、小泉元総理大臣とブッシュ元大統領が会食したことであまりにも有名な西麻布の「権八」レストランで、ヴィーガン寿司とヴィーガン日本酒がスタートしました。

先行してヴィーガン寿司が始まっていましたが、9月18日からはヴィーガン日本酒も加わり、ヴィーガンやベジタリアンの方々も安心して日本の名物である寿司と日本酒を楽しむことが出来るようになりました。

これは大変大きな出来事で、権八は外国人にはおそらく最も有名な日本のレストランです。そして外国人のお客さんの比率も大変高く、そこでヴィーガン寿司とヴィーガン日本酒が当たり前に食べ、飲めるようになった、瞬く間に日本に住む外国人や、インバウンドの外国人に伝わると思います。

ヴィーガンの方々の食事にかける費用は、普通の人の2倍から3倍と言うデータもあります。アメリカではホールフーズなどはヴィーガンに力を入れている関係もあり、これからの権八の挑戦がとても楽しみです。
#vegan #sushi #sake #Japanese

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

An innovative concept which never existed in New York before. “ZAUO” where you can eat the fish you have just caught

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An innovative c... An innovative c... An innovative c... An innovative c... An innovative c... An innovative c... An innovative c... An innovative c...
By Aya Ota

“ZAUO”, where you can have the fish you have just caught cooked, and eat right there----a restaurant with such an innovative concept which is unprecedented in New York, is the talk of the town now.

First, the customer would decide which fish he or she wants to catch. In the restaurant, there are 3 fish tanks, and about 10 different kinds of live seafood items, which alternate every season, are kept there, and consist of rainbow trout, striped-bass, fluke, flounder, lobster, Dungeness crab, abalone, etc. Depending on the kind of fish, the tools and methods of catching differ. Staff called “Fish Attendants” would help you so you don’t need to worry. Once you catch your aimed item, the floor staff cheers for you by hitting a drum. After that, you choose the cooking method of your choice: salt grilled, tempura, simmered in soy sauce, sake-steamed, etc. Half & Half, in which a piece of fish is divided into 2 halves, and one half is used for shabu shabu, and the other half is salt grilled, etc., is especially popular. It makes you feel really special that you eat what you just caught which is cooked immediately while it is still fresh. There are additional services such as making miso soup with the fish head and bones, making crunchy senbei of fried fluke or flounder bones, etc. You can taste your caught item in its entirety without wasting any part.

Besides the above-mentioned fishing menu, for which the fished items are cooked, they offer a rich variety of a-la-carte menu items such as sushi, sashimi, seafood bowl, salad, and miso soup. You can start fishing right away, or you can enjoy sake and appetizers first, and then challenge yourself to fish. The restaurant has 3 stories. The first floor has lively seating near large fish tanks, private room like spaces, and a bar counter. You can watch fish swimming underneath from the mezzanine floor, or the 2nd floor interior gives you the sense of being on a boat, Whether you are a couple, part of a group, or by yourself, you can enjoy various ambiences by going to different floors. Customers often use this place for family outings with children or for birthday parties. From this June, they have just started using the 3rd floor. It is a quiet space very different from the 1st and 2nd floor, and omakase sushi is served there.

I can imagine that in order to realize such an unprecedented concept, they must have experienced a lot of difficulties in building construction and application for permits, etc., on top of gaining the understanding and cooperation of the involved parties. However, “I never really thought that I was struggling,” says Mr. Takuya Takahashi, President of Zauo Inc. cheerfully. He is also the Vice President of Harbor House Inc. (based in Fukuoka), which has developed 13 “ZAUO”s in Japan. This company was founded in1986, and was originally operated as an apparel business dealing with novelty products and uniforms. They expanded their business, and have developed a total of 20 restaurants besides “ZAUO”s, which include izakaya and teishoku chains. In 2014, when he was visiting New York with his brother, the President of Harbor House Inc., he felt the strong urge to do something in this town full of diversity. Back then, he was doing the market research and looking for locations flexibly without focusing on a particular business model. Then, he decided to develop the “ZAUO” concept, which has a strong, unique characteristic that differs from others. Sometimes, the experience and knowledge he gained from “ZAUO”, Japan, was useful, but some things were totally different in the US. Many customers come for the fishing experience without recognizing the restaurant as a Japanese restaurant, and taste Japanese food or sake for the first time. Some want rice as a side menu item of the western cuisine, so they started to offer it for free. In order to accommodate diversified preferences, restricted diets, and allergies, they offer meats, and vegetarian dishes as well. For those who are not accustomed to eating whole fish, they serve it with no skin and bones to attentively respond to the detailed needs. Moreover, they created a position called “Fish Attendant”, which exists only at this restaurant, and educate the staff for it so they can become confident and take joy in this unique position. Mr. Takahashi himself, who has the determining rights, takes the lead on site, so flexibility and power of actuation is excellent.

“I would like to produce joyfulness, focusing on the importance of sense of unity among customers and staff,” says Mr. Takahashi. His quote also holds a wish for having people understand not only the joys of eating something they caught themselves, but also conveying the understanding of expressing gratitude for each precious life to be taken and consumed with respect.


これまでニューヨークになかった革新的なコンセプト
自分で釣った魚を食べられる『ZAUO』


「自分で釣った魚をその場で調理してもらう」…これまでニューヨークには存在しなかった斬新なコンセプトの店、『ざうお』が話題だ。

客は来店するとまず、どの魚介類を釣りたいか決める。店内には3カ所のいけすがあり、ニジマス、シマスズキ、ひらめ、かれい、ロブスター、ダンジネスクラブ、あわびなど、季節ごとに変わるが常時約10種類の魚介類がいる。種類によって釣り具や捕獲方法が異なるが、「フィッシュ・アテンダント」と呼ばれる店員が助けてくれるので安心だ。お目当ての魚介類を釣り上げると、店員が太鼓を叩いて盛り上げてくれる。その後、塩焼き、天ぷら、煮付け、酒蒸しなど、好みの調理方法を選んで料理してもらう。特に、一匹の魚を半身はしゃぶしゃぶ、半身は塩焼き…という具合に、二通りに調理してもらう「ハーフ&ハーフ」が人気。自ら捕獲した魚介類を、新鮮なまま調理してもらって食べる醍醐味は格別だ。頭部と骨を味噌汁にしたり、ひらめやかれいの骨を揚げて骨せんべいにしたり…という追加サービスもあり、釣果を無駄なく丸ごと味わい尽くすことができる。

釣った魚介類を調理してもらうフィッシング・メニュー以外にも、寿司や刺身、海鮮丼、サラダ、味噌汁など、アラカルト・メニューも豊富に用意されている。来店してすぐに釣り始めてもいいし、お酒や前菜を少し楽しんでから釣りに挑戦してもいい。店は3階建てのビル全体を活用した構造で、1階には、大型のいけすが近い賑やかな席、個室風の席、バーカウンターがある。足下に泳ぐ魚を眺められる中2階、実際に乗船しているような臨場感ある内装の2階…カップルでも団体でも一人でも、フロアや席を変えて異なる雰囲気を味わえる。子供連れの家族層や誕生会などに利用されることも多いという。6月からは3階での営業を開始し、1〜2階とは全く異なる閑静な空間で、おまかせ寿司を提供。プライベートイベントにも対応可能な空間も用意している。

これまでに例のない概念を実現するには、関係者の理解や協力を得ることはもちろん、建設工事や許認可申請など多くの障害があっただろう。しかし、「あまり苦労していると感じたことはない」と明るい笑顔で話す『ZAUO INC.』社長の高橋拓也氏氏。日本で『釣船茶屋ざうお』を13店舗を展開する『株式会社ハーバーハウス』(本社:福岡県)の副社長でもある。1986年創業の同社は、もともとノベルティ商品やユニフォームなどのアパレル業からスタートしたが、事業を拡大し、『ざうお』以外でも居酒屋や定食屋など複数の業態を含め約20店舗を展開する。2014年に、高橋氏が社長である兄と、市場調査を目的にニューヨークを訪れていたときに「多様性あふれるこの街で何かやりたい」と直観。当初は業態を絞り込むことなく柔軟に調査や物件探しを進めていたが、他と差別化できる強烈な個性を持つ『ざうお』を展開しようと決断した。日本の『ざうお』での経験や知識が役立つこともあれば、全く異なることもあった。釣りをきっかけに、同店を日本食店と認識せずに来店する客も多いため、初めて日本食や日本酒を口にする人もいる。西洋料理のサイドメニューのようにご飯を要求する客もいて無料提供を開始した。多様な嗜好性、食事制限やアレルギーに対応するべく肉やベジタリアン料理も提供する。丸ごとの魚を食べ慣れない客には骨や皮を外してあげるなど、細かい要望にも丁寧に対応する。また、「フィッシュ・アテンダント」という他店にない職種に自信と喜びを感じられるよう教育をしているという。決裁権ある高橋氏本人が現場指揮を執っているため、柔軟性と行動力が抜群だ。

「お客様やスタッフとの一体感を大事に、楽しさを演出したい」と高橋氏。自分で釣った魚を食べられる楽しみを伝えるだけでなく、感謝して命をいただくという食育の願いも込められている。



ZAUO
152 W 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 646-905-2274
https://zauo-newyork.com/
5:00 pm to 10:30 pm (Last Order 10:00 pm) 7days week
#alljapannews #NY #ZAUO #sushi

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Sushi Shioo -A sushi restaurant loved by locals of the Island of Hawaii-

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Sushi Shioo -A sushi restauran... Sushi Shioo -A sushi restauran... Sushi Shioo -A sushi restauran... Sushi Shioo -A sushi restauran... Sushi Shioo -A sushi restauran...
By Keiko Fukuda

Sushi Shiono is a restaurant chain, which has 3 locations on the Island of Hawaii, and each of them is unique. Its Kona location, the first establishment, is a sushi dining place loved by the locals. Its Waikoloa location is a take-out only establishment. It is located in the Queen’s Market Place in the Waikoloa Beach Resort. It has a sushi bar, but is mainly targeted to “Grab and Go” customers. Its third Mauna Lani location, which is about a 5-minute drive north from Waikoloa, is a high-end sushi restaurant, which is very different from the casual Kona location. This place offers omakase, and specially created menu items.

Although these 3 locations are divided by each concept, “a restaurant loved by the locals”, “a take-out only restaurant”, and “a high-end restaurant”, they share the same thing, which is their extreme particularity about the ingredients by using only the fresh seafood caught in the seas near Hawaii, and seafood directly shipped from Japan. Moreover, all of their 4 chefs, who are demonstrating their excellent skills, share experiences of working in Japan.

Now, Sushi Shiono is a popular restaurant chain, which scores high on OpenTable and Yelp; however, I heard that the Kona location was first opened by the owner, who was just a gourmet eater then, as an extension of his hobby.

The owner’s name is Kanichi Shionoya, who runs a generic pharmaceutical company. I heard that Mr. Shionoya, who used to visit the Island of Hawaii to enjoy sport-fishing, thought about opening a sushi restaurant so that he could enjoy the fish he caught there. It became more convincing why he is so particular about the freshness of the ingredients, and bringing chefs from Japan, when I learned that his intention of establishing a restaurant is purely for “his own desire to eat good fish” rather than a business success in mind. This owner also runs various restaurants in Japan besides a sushi restaurant, such as oden, soba, and yakitori restaurants.

I learned from Yuka Murakami of Maruhiro Enterprises, the base operation organization of Sushi Shiono that the Kona location, which is busy with local customers now, used to be filled with Japanese tourists when it first opened in 2003. “Now, our customers consist of 70% locals, 20% tourists, and 10% Japanese who live locally.” Kawakami-san explained the reason for the change of the strategy as follows: “If we aim mainly for tourists as our customers, the number of customers will vary too drastically depending on the season.”

In fact, there are many customers who want to visit the Kona location every week, where sushi chefs rarely change. “Both their dishes and services are the best!”. “You can have genuine Japanese cuisine, not some strange Japanese-like cuisine.” “The taste of sushi made with fresh seafood is superb, and the quality of its vinegared rice is also way better than other restaurants.” “It’s a kid-friendly restaurant, which can be enjoyed by the whole family.” Those are some of the comments the regular customers give.

This is the place famous for serving “genuine Japanese food”. However, they also serve something you can and must taste only in Hawaii. “The Big Island Abalone”, a type of cultivated abalone, is known for its tender texture.

Also, Kona Kampachi is good either as sushi or sashimi. Hawaiian beef is grass-fed in Hawaii, and we serve it as tataki, or sushi.” (by Kawakami)

I had a simple question as to whether Sushi Shiono will ever expand to Oahu or the Mainland. Kawakami-san replied as follows: “I hear that often from the people who visit our Big Island location. I have actually checked out the possibility.

However, due to the fact that our President came to the Big Island to open the restaurant because he loved it here, the chance of us going out of this island in the future is very slim. I would like to keep contributing to the Big Island further into the future by serving the blessings of the island in a delicious way.” However, within the Island of Hawaii, it looks like a piece of new development is on the way. “First, by next summer, we will move the present Kona restaurant to a nearby location. We are planning to make half of the new location a sushi division, and the other half a ramen place. We will keep the lease for the present location, and instead of sushi and ramen, we will reopen it as a different type of Japanese restaurant.” They cannot reveal what type of restaurant it will be yet. I cannot help but keep my eyes on Sushi Shiono, which has settled its roots in the Island of Hawaii to continue to serve Japanese food.


ハワイ島のロコに愛される寿司店

ハワイ島にそれぞれ特色のある3軒の寿司店を出している寿司しおの。1号店であるコナ店は地元客に愛される寿司ダイニング。ワイコロア店はテイクアウトの店。ワイコロア・ビーチリゾートのクイーンズマーケットプレイス内にあり、寿司バーも付設されているが、主に「グラッブ・アンド・ゴー」の顧客がメインのターゲットだ。さらに、ワイコロアから北に車で5分ほど移動した場所にある3店舗目のマウナラニ店は、コナ店のカジュアルな雰囲気とは一線を画す高級志向の寿司店。お任せや創作料理もメニューに並ぶ。

これら3店は、「地元客に愛される店」、「テイクアウト」、「高級志向」とコンセプトを分けてはいるが、共通するのはハワイ近海で獲れた新鮮な魚と日本から直送された魚を扱い、とことん素材にこだわっているという点だ。また、日本での経験を持つ4人の寿司シェフが腕を振るう。

今や繁盛店として、オープンテーブルやYelpでも高得点を獲得している寿司しおのだが、もともとは食通のオーナーが趣味の延長線でコナ店を開けたそうだ。そのオーナーは日本でジェネリック薬品の会社を経営する塩野谷貫一(ルビ:しおのやかんいち)さん。ハワイ島を訪れてはスポーツフィッシングに興じていた塩野谷さんは、現地で釣った魚を美味しく食べたいという気持ちから、島に寿司店を開店することを思い立ったそうだ。ビジネスありきではなく、「自分が食べたい」という純粋な気持ちから店を構えたと聞けば、食材や日本から呼び寄せたシェフに対するこだわりも納得だ。同オーナーは、日本国内でも寿司店、他におでん割烹、蕎麦店、焼き鳥店も経営している。

今は地元客で賑わうコナ店だが、2003年の開店当初、その客層の多くを日本人の観光客が占めていたと教えてくれたのは、寿司しおのの経営母体、マルヒロエンタープライズの川上由香さん。「今は70%がローカルのお客様、20%が観光客、そして10%が現地在住の日本人のお客様といった構成になっています」。地元客向けに戦略を変えた理由を、川上さんは「観光客をターゲットの中心に据えた場合、季節によって来客数のアップダウンが激しくなります」と説明した。

実際、寿司シェフの顔ぶれがほとんど変わることのないコナ店を毎週のように訪れる常連は多い。「料理、サービス共に最高。風変わりな日本食もどきではなく本物の日本食が食べられる」、また「新鮮な魚を使った寿司の美味しさ。酢飯の質も他店のはるか上をいく」「家族で楽しめるキッズフレンドリーな店」といったコメントが常連からは聞かれる。

「本物の日本食」を出すことで定評のあると同店だが、ぜひ食したいハワイならではのマストなネタもある。「ビッグアイランド・アバロンという養殖アワビは柔らかい食感で有名です。また、コナ・カンパチは寿司でも刺身でもおすすめです。ハワイ牛はハワイ産のグラスフェッドビーフ。これをタタキにしたり、またお寿司でもお出ししています」(川上さん)。

オアフ島やメインランドには寿司しおのは進出しないのかという素朴な疑問が浮かぶ。川上さんの返答は次のようなものだった。「ハワイ島の当店にいらっしゃった方にそのようなお話をいただくことは多いです。実際、下見に行ったこともあります。しかし、社長がハワイ島が好きでここに店を出したということもあり、今後、ハワイ島の外に出る可能性は非常に低いと思います。今後もハワイ島の恵みを美味しく提供することで、さらにハワイ島に貢献していきたいと考えています」。ただし、ハワイ島内では新たな展開が生まれそうだ。「まず、夏頃には、今のコナ店をすぐ近くの場所に移転させます。その店舗の半分を寿司店に、残りの半分をラーメン屋さんにする計画です。今の店のリースはそのまま継続し、寿司やラーメンではなく、別の業態の日本食店を新たにオープンさせます」。それが何の店になるかはまだ秘密だそうだ。ハワイ島に根を張って、日本食を提供し続ける寿司しおのから目が離せそうにない。



Sushi Shiono (Kona)
75-5799 ALii Dr. Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
(808)326-1696
http://www.sushishiono.com

Mon.-Thu.11:30am-2:00pm, 5:30pm-9:00pm
Fri. 11:30am-2:00pm, 5:30pm-10:00pm
Sat. 5:30pm- 10:00pm
Sun. 5;00pm-9:00pm
#alljapannews #sushi #sushishiono #kona #hawaii

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Seafood dishes and sushi, in which worldwide cooking techniques and seasonings are cleverly used

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Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w...
By Aya Ota

In the SOHO District where stylish and unique boutiques and galleries stand, there is a door a few steps down from the street level. Opening the door will lead you to an extraordinary space that looks like the interior of a deluxe cruise ship, and entertains you. This is “Lure Fishbar”, one of New York’s prominent seafood specialty restaurants. There, you find creative and ingenious dishes, in which fresh and high-quality seafood is generously used, and worldwide cooking techniques and seasonings are effectively used. There is a raw bar with a wide variety of oysters and clams, and the main dishes include flavorful clam chowder, bisque, grilled or steamed seafood; each of which is cooked properly depending on the ingredient. Sushi and sashimi are the core items of the menu, and account for 30 to 35% of the entire sales.

It was in 2014 when Preston Clark, the Executive Chef of “Lure Fishbar” was hired. His father is a well-known chef who has received an award from the James Beard Foundation, and he has been brushing up his talent and skills since childhood. He also has an honorable record as a nominee for the Rising Star award by the same Foundation. For him, it was the first time to work for a seafood specialty restaurant, but he has created new tastes utilizing his past experiences in working for various famous places such as “Jean George”, a leading French restaurant in New York, and “El Paso” in San Francisco, etc. “Sea Urchin Bucatini” is one of the items he is most proud of. A rich sauce made with generous portions of blue crab meat coats Bucatini pasta, and Hokkaido sea urchin is generously placed on top. The dish doesn’t seem complicated at first glance, but actually a complex and delicate taste has been created by accentuating it with crust made with 3 kinds of chill peppers and garlic. “Hellfire Roll” ($22) is a dish which is colorful and playful. It is a unique roll-style sushi, on which spicy tuna is rolled inside, and seared tuna pieces are added on top.

Kimchee flavor is used effectively. Ponzu-flavored “Kanpachi Sashimi” ($23) provides a rhythmical texture, and added wasabi stem, shallot, garlic, and ginger enhance the taste of the basic ingredients. Other favored Japanese food ingredients they use include raw wasabi, soy sauce, miso, and yuzu. He told me that he learned how to handle seafood and Japanese ingredients from Jean George, who is a Japanese cuisine connoisseur.

Mr. Clark supervises not only the entire cooking aspect as a chef, but also the business aspect. It is not easy to keep attracting customers to such a large-scale restaurant and be profitable at the same time in a place like New York which is a highly competitive market. This restaurant operates from lunch through dinner without a break, and interestingly, they have set up a special period between 3 and 5pm as “Late Lunch”. Due to the nature of the location like SOHO, they try to accommodate a wide variety of customers from locals to tourists. Not only that, the period is the switching point from lunch to dinner, and works well for both efficient operation and profitability. They use social media to attract customers by not only explaining the dishes, but also introducing the health benefits of seafood, and cultural background of each dish.

They also have an excellent lineup of Japanese sake brands. Mariah Bryand, Manager of the restaurant, has acquired a sake sommelier license, and she has carefully selected 20 Japanese sake brands that are a good match to seafood.

Japanese cocktails such as “Soho Sōtō Martini” ($20) made with Junmai Daiginjo and “Red Eye” ($18) with plum wine are also popular. One Junmai Daiginjo brand is featured and introduced as the “Sommelier Selection Sake” every season, and explained in detail about the charm of the featured brand.

You can fully enjoy the depth and broadness of seafood cooking here at “Lure Fishbar”. You feel like trying different dishes and liquors one after another. This is a place full of inspiration and surprises.


世界各国の料理技術や調味料を駆使した魚介料理や寿司

お洒落で個性的なブティックやギャラリーが立ち並ぶSOHO地区。路面から数段降りた位置にある扉を開けると、豪華客船内をイメージした優雅で非日常的な空間が広がり、高揚した気分になる。ここは、ニューヨーク有数のシーフード専門店『Lure Fishbar』。新鮮で高品質な魚介類をふんだんに使い、世界各国の料理技術や調味料を駆使し、創意工夫に富んだ料理が並ぶ。牡蠣やあさりなど豊富な種類を取りそろえたロー・バー、風味豊かなクラムチャウダーやビスク、グリルやスチームなど素材に合わせた技法で調理されたメイン料理……。寿司や刺身は同店メニューの中心的存在で、売上の30〜35%を占めるという。

プレストン・クラーク氏が、『Lure Fishbar』の料理長に就任したのは2014年のことだ。父親はジェイムス・ビアード財団から表彰された著名な料理人であり、幼少の頃から才能と技術を磨いてきた。彼自身も同財団のライジング・スターにノミネートされたという輝かしい経歴を持つ。魚介専門店は初体験だったが、過去に、ニューヨークを代表するフレンチ『Jean George』やサンフランシスコの『El Paso』など、数々の名店で培った知識や経験を活かして、新しい味を創り出している。「Sea Urchin Bucatini」は、クラーク氏自慢の一品。ブルー・クラブをふんだんに使った濃厚なソースをブカティーニ・パスタに絡め、北海道産ウニを贅沢にトッピング。一見シンプルに見えるが、3種類の唐辛子で作ったクラストやニンニクをアクセントにし、複雑で繊細な味を創り上げている。『Hellfire Roll』(22ドル)は彩り鮮やかで遊び心にあふれた内容。ピリ辛味のマグロを巻き込み、さらに炙ったマグロの切り身を乗せるという独特な巻き寿司で、キムチ味を効かせている。ポン酢風味の『Kanpachi Sashimi』(23ドル)には、ワサビ茎、エシャロット、ニンニク、生姜がリズミカルな食感を加え、素材の味を引き立てる。他の日本食材では、生ワサビ、醤油、味噌、柚などを好んで取り入れている。魚介や日本食材の扱い方については、日本食通のジャン・ジョルジュ氏の元で学んだという。

クラーク氏は料理長として、料理全体のみならずビジネス面も統括している。ニューヨークという熾烈な市場で、これだけ大規模な店に集客し、収益を上げていくのは決して簡単なことではない。同店ではランチからディナーまで休憩なく開店しているが、平日3時半〜5時に「Late Lunch」という時間帯を設けているのが興味深い。SOHOという土地柄もあり、地元客から旅行客まで幅広い客層の要望に応えるためでもあるが、ちょうどディナーへの切り替えタイミングでもあり、効率よいオペレーションと収益性を両立させているのだ。集客にはソーシャル・ネットワークを活用、単に料理の説明にとどまらず、魚介類の健康効果やそれぞれの料理の文化的背景なども紹介している。

 同店は、日本酒のラインナップも秀逸だ。同店のマネージャーを務めるマライア・ブライアンド氏は、利き酒氏の資格を取得しており、魚介類に合う日本酒を約20種類厳選している。純米大吟醸を使った『Soho Sōtō Martini』(20ドル)や梅酒を使った『Red Eye』(18ドル)など、日本酒カクテルも人気がある。

「Sommelier Selection Sake」として、季節ごとに特定の日本酒をフィーチャーし、その魅力を詳しく紹介している。

魚介類料理の奥深さや幅広さを存分に味わえる『Lure Fishbar』。次々と違う料理や酒を試したくなる、感動と驚きに満ちあふれた店だ。



Lure Fishbar
142 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 212-431-7676
URL: www.lurefishbar.com

Dinner
Mon–Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

Lunch
Mon–Fri 11:30 am–4:00 pm

Brunch
Sat, Sun 11:00 am–3:30 pm
#alljapannews #seafood #sushi #soho #NY #LureFishbar

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

A long-established sushi restaurant loved by the region —Sustaining while changing—

スレッド
A long-establis... A long-establis... A long-establis... A long-establis... A long-establis...
By Elli Sekine

Ebisu, which is going into their 37th year of operation this year, is a long-established restaurant that has been leading the sushi boom in San Francisco. This restaurant is located near the center of the Golden Gate Park, and had become a super popular place in the nineties, where people would wait in line for a long time. Since then, they have tried diversified management styles, and tried out new sushi business models. Actually, in the past 30 years, they have expanded the business by opening 3 new restaurants, then closing them, and currently running only the main location. In their history, you can identify the pros and cons of a family-run operation. Ebisu has always been particular about quality and originality, and therefore, it was their management strategy to match the trends of the time. “The fundamentals are the most important things for the operation, which are consistent procurement of fresh ingredients, and the management,” says Erick, the 2nd generation owner.

Changing of management style according to the time…
In 1999, Ebisu Family’s second location, “Hotei,” opened. It was a noodle specialty restaurant which no one paid attention to at that time. The secret dashi made at the main location across the street was used for the noodle soups, and their wide variety of menu items that included udon, soba, somen, showa-taste ramen, etc., and its casual atmosphere made this place a hit. “As long as the base for Japanese cuisine is solidly mastered, you can create any dish,” at that time said Steve who is the founder, and currently the chairman. Especially, the “Reimen (cold noodle)” with house-made rich sauce, which you could not get anywhere else, was their top menu item. Ususally, average time people spend at a noodle specialty restaurant is not long, and therefore, its rotation is quick. From the customers’ point of view, it was really convenient that the restaurant was open from lunch through dinner time, and it was nice that they could have Ebisu’s roll sushi at a reasonable price. This location, thus quickly became very popular. Some customers who could not get into “Ebisu” went there, too. However, due to the ramen boom that came later, those customers slowly left for wanting of the new thing, ramen. For the 2 years prior to closing “Hotei”, they tried to continue by changing the owner, but finally closed its doors in 2015.

Catering sushi for parties…
In the 2000s, the core business that they were running along with the restaurant business was catering of sushi for parties, and catering for business offices.
With catering for weddings to business meetings at renowned hotels, they were extremely busy. The catering business was rapidly growing around that time as a new food business model. Erick, who was the leader of their catering business said, “It was really crazy, the situation we were in”, as he reminisced about those days when he was rushing around like crazy with his father and brothers. Presently, they are developing a well-balanced business based on the main location as the core.

“Airport Ebisu”, the second location of “Ebisu”, and “Hotei”, the second location of “Hotei” at the Financial District
In the early 2000s, the “Ebisu” family opened a branch at the new international terminal of SFO (San Francisco airport) which is known as “the most gourmet airport”. Ebisu was really standing out amongst the selection of restaurants and stores there, where the food culture unique to Northern California with the highest Asian population was symbolized in. Furthermore, the second “Hotei” opened in the Finance District, and their business was at its peak. On the other hand, in the background of such successes, they were having constant hardships with administering of employees, and the management. The distance from the main restaurant seemed to be one of the reasons. The idea of Steve’s, “to keep everybody within the reach of his supervision”, was far from the reality. It was also the time when maintaining of human resources was not catching up with the demands of the rapidly growing Japanese food businesses.

In the second half of the 2000s, San Francisco went into the IT bubbling period, and high-end Japanese restaurants were appearing one after another. Fine dining restaurants that served Omakase and Kaiseki courses increased in number in a very short time. Ebisu did a renovation of the entire restaurant in 2008, but did not change their position all throughout the past 30 years as a casual, locally based restaurant. Because of it, they still keep long-time regular customers without getting distracted by new trends. Moreover, due to the renovation, the older image of them, which is a usual typical sushi restaurant of the nineties, has transformed to a modern, bright, and spacious kind, which is drawing new types of customers. Adding more counter seats is contributing to the increase in the number of single customers.

The long-lasting Ebisu, which was established by a single generation, has been going forward by changing their business format along the way with the times. What has not changed is their offering of fresh ingredients, and their support of the local regular customers. Their family operation principle in which they do not rely completely on strangers, has been carried over to the second generation, and is still evolving.


地域に愛される寿司の老舗
-変わりながら持続する-



今年で創業37年目となるEbisuは、サンフランシスコで寿司ブームを牽引して来た老舗。ゴールデンゲートパークのほぼ中央に位置するサンセット地区で90年代、行列の出来る繁盛店となった。その後多角経営に挑戦し、新しい寿司店の在り方を実践して来た。実際、この30年で3軒の新規店舗を拡大しクローズし、現在は本店のみが既存している。そこには、家族経営の良さと難しさが見えてくる。また、品質とオリジナリティにこだわるEbisuならではの時代に合わせた経営戦略でもあった。「経営は基本が最も大切。それは一貫して新鮮な食材の仕入れとマネージメントです」と2代目店主のエリックさんは語る。

時代に合わせ経営形態を変える
1999年、Ebisuファミリー第2号店となる「Hotei」をオープンした。当時まだ誰も見向きもしなかったヌードル店だ。通り向かいに位置する本店で毎日取る秘伝出汁をヌードルスープに応用する手順でうどん、蕎麦、そうめん、そして昭和の味のラーメンなど豊富なメニューとカジュアルさがウケた。「和食の基本さえしっかりしていれば、どんなメニューでも創作できる」と当時、創始者で現会長のスティーブさんは言っていた。特に自家製コッテリタレの「冷麺」はここでしか食べられない絶品メニューだった。ヌードル店は平均食事時間が少く回転も早い。客にとっては営業時間はランチタイムから通しで便利であり、お得な値段でEbisuのロール寿司を食べられると言う事でたちまち繁盛店となった。「Ebisu」に入れない客も流れていた。しかしその後到来したラーメンブームにより、客は新しいラーメンを求めて散って行った。閉店前2年間はオーナーチェンジをし、2015年「Hotei」はそのドアを閉じた。

パーティ寿司ケータリング
2000年代、レストラン営業と同時に経営の柱となっていたのが、パーティー出張寿司とビジネスケータリングだ。結婚式から著名なホテルのミーティングまで引っ張りだことなった。ケータリングが新しい食ビジネスとして急成長したのもこの頃。その中心となって支えてきたエリックさんは、「状況はクレージーだった」と父、兄弟と走り回った当時を振り返る。現在、本店を軸としたバランスの良いビジネスを展開している。

エアポート「Ebisu 」2号店と金融街の「Hotei」2号店
2000年代初頭、「Ebisu」ファミリーは、「全米で一番グルメな空港」と呼ばれるSFO(サンフランシスコ空港)の新国際ターミナルに支店を出した。アジア人口の比率が最も多い北カリフォルニアならではの食文化を象徴した店舗セレクションの中でEbisuは際立っていた。さらに「Hotei」2号店も金融街にオープンし、経営は最高潮に達していた。しかしその裏では人事やマネージメント面での苦労が耐えなかったという。本店から距離が遠いこともあり、「常に目が届く範囲」というスティーブさんの思惑からかけ離れていたようだ。急激な日本食需要に人材確保が追い付かない時代でもあった。

本店の大改装
2000年代後半からサンフランシスコはITバブル期に突入し、和食高級店が続々と出現し、Omakaseや懐石メニューを提供する“ハイエンド”レストランが一気に増えた。Ebisu は2008年に店内の全面改装をしたが、30数年間通してきた地元密着型のカジュアルレストランの位置付けは変えなかった。その為トレンドに惑わされる事なく長年の常連客を確保している。更に改装により、90年代の平凡な寿司店のイメージはモダンで当たるく広々としたイメージに代わり、新しい客も呼び込んでいる。カウンター席が増えた事で一人客も増えている。

一代で築いた老舗Ebisuは時代と共にビジネスの形態を変えながら歩んで来た。変わらないのは新鮮なネタの提供と地域の常連客のサポートだ。他人任せにしない家族経営店の信念は今2代目へと引き継がれ、更なる進化を遂げようとしている。



Ebisu
1283 9th Ave 
San Francisco, CA 
 (415) 566-1770
 https://ebisusushi.com

lunch
Monday to Friday 11:30-14:00
Saturday 11:30-14:30

Dinner
Monday to Thursday 17:00-22:00
Friday ,Saturday 17:00-23:00
#alljapannews #sushi #restaurant #ebisu #SF

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

“Highest-quality sushi you can taste at a metropolitan train station you happened to stop by” is the concept.

スレッド
“Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit...
Text Mayumi Schroeder Photo: Elli Sekine

Growth of popularity of sushi in San Francisco’s Bay area in recent years is quite amazing. Many sushi restaurants including sushi bars and revolving sushi places have opened. Among them, one place is particularly attracting people’s attention as a restaurant where true authentic sushi is served. It is “Oma San Francisco Station”, which opened in Japan Town’s West Mall in July of 2018. This place has been featured in various media such as ABC News, Hoodline, and Eater SF as a retaurant where reasonably-priced high-quality sushi omakase courses are offered, and good reviews have been given. Even the Michelin Guide said, “It is wonderful that you can eat this good-quality sushi at this kind of price!”

Wilson Chan, the owner/chef, is Chinese American from Northridge area of Los Angeles County. He has a 16-year career as a chef, and has worked as a skillful chef at many high-quality restaurants such as“Wasabi + Ginger, Kentaro” in Los Angeles area, ”Yuzuki”, “Tsubasa”, ”Kappo Gomi”, and ”Ozaoza” in San Francisco area. For this opportunity of opening his own restaurant, Mr. Chan, who has also worked as an art designer, did everything from designing the modern interior, 3-dimentional art, to the website by himself.

The name of this restaurant, “Oma San Francisco Station”, with a wooden counter for only 8 seats, was named after an image in which, although you are in a metropolitan area, you go to a train station to taste omakase-style sushi. The menu consists of only 3 omakase courses, “Nozomi” ($85), “Hikari” ($55)”, and “Kodama ($30)”. The courses are uniquely named after Japanese bullet trains (Shinkansen). The “Nozomi” consists of 12 nigiri sushi pieces, and 1 hand-roll. The “Hikari” consists of 6 nigiri sushi pieces, and 1 hand-roll. “Kodama” consists of 5 nigiri sushi pieces, and 1 hand-roll. Each course ends with akadashi miso soup. If you felt not quite satisfied with the quantity, you can also add individual nigari sushi pieces of your choice.

As for the ingredients, Mr. Chan himself carefully selects only fresh and seasonal produce. On top of air ordering from Toyosu in advance, he also orders certain seasonal ingredients from even Hokkaido and Kyushu. As for fish, this place has rare kinds such as red bream, rockfish, red snapper, amberjack, and scallops from Iwate prefecture, which are not well known and usually unavailable as popular sushi ingredients. Each ingredient is prepared using uniquely effective methods such as konbu-jime, and aburi (charring), to enhance each ingredient’s characteristics to the fullest. The konbu for konbu-jime method is Rishiri dried kelp from Hokkaido. Mackerels from Hokkaido are marinated in dashi for 2 hours, and red breams are marinated for 6 hours before they are prepared. The ikura (salmon roes) dish I tasted was prepared after marinated in konbu dashi and mirin, and every bite was fresh, and soothing while I could still taste ikura’s natural deep taste and aroma, which slowly spread in my mouth. The charred salmon was very aromatic due to slight charring burn, and its soft texture that melted in my mouth made me feel like getting addicted to it. Simple, yet only highest-quality fish is used, therefore, “no soy sauce is needed”, is true as written in the menu. The best possible sushi has been created here by ultimately bringing out each ingredient‘s umami.

Presently, only sushi kaiseki can be offered because there is no kitchen space, however, he indicated his desire of opening a restaurant with a kitchen in the future. Right now, the seating is limited to 8, and the same-day reservation is not accepted, so making an online reservation in advance is recommended. Otherwise waiting can be very long especially for dinner time due to its popularity.


コンセプトは“都会で立ち寄った駅で食す最高級寿司”
 
 近年におけるサンフランシスコ・ベイエリアでの寿司の人気は目を見張るものがあり、寿司バーや回転寿司など数多くの店舗が広範囲で展開されている。その中で、本格的な寿司が食べられるレストランとして注目されているのがサンフランシスコ日本街のウエスト・モール内に2018年7月にオープンした「Oma San Francisco Station」だ。リーズナブルに高品質の寿司のおまかせコースを食する事が出来るとABC7ニュースやHoodline、Eater SFなどの情報誌に取り上げられレビューでも高い評価を獲得している他、ミシュランガイドでも“この様な高品質の寿司を、この価格で食べられるのは素晴らしい事だ”と記載されている。

 オーナー兼シェフのウィルソン・チャン氏はロサンゼルス市ノースリッジ地区出身のチャイニーズ・アメリカン。シェフとして16年の経験を持ち、ロサンゼルス市の「Wasabi + Ginger, Kentaro」、サンフランシスコ市の「Yuzuki」, 「Tsubasa」,「Kappo Gomi」や「Ozaoza」など数多くのクオリティーの高い店でシェフとして活躍してきた。今回、自分の店を持つにあたりシェフだけでなくアートデザイナーとしての経歴も持つチャン氏は、店内の近代的なデザインや立体アートからレストランのウェブサイトのデザインまで全て自分で作り上げたという。

 8席の木製カウンターのみの当店の名前である“Oma San Francisco Station”は、“都会にありながら、駅に立ち寄って食べるおまかせ寿司”というイメージで付けられたという。メニューはおまかせメニューのみの全3種類。それぞれに“のぞみ(85ドル)”、“ひかり(55ドル)”、“こだま(30ドル)”と新幹線の名前を付けるユニークさだ。“のぞみ”では握り12貫と手巻き1本、“ひかり”では握り8貫と手巻き1本、“こだま”では握り5貫と手巻き1本で、全メニューとも最後に締めとして赤ダシの味噌汁が提供される。食後に物足りなさを感じる人には最後に1品ずつ握り寿司を追加する事もできるという。

 食材は旬で新鮮な物のみをチャン氏が自ら選んで厳選、プレオーダーをして豊洲から空輸される他、九州や北海道からも旬の食材を空輸する徹底ぶり。寿司ネタにはキンメダイ、のどくろ、真鯛、かんぱち、岩手県産の帆立など一般の寿司ネタにはない物も取り揃えており、調理方法も昆布締めや炙りなどで個々の食材の旨さを最大限に生かすように調理されている。昆布締めに使用されているのは利尻昆布で、北海道産の鯖はダシに2時間浸してから、キンメダイは6時間浸してから調理されるという。今回、賞味させて頂いたイクラは昆布ダシと味醂で漬けられてから調理されており、噛む度に新鮮で爽やかな口当たりながらも、イクラそのものの深い味わいが口の中に広がっていく。又、炙りサーモンは若干の焦げがもたらす香ばしさと、柔らかな食感が口の中で溶けるようで病みつきになりそうだ。シンプルだが最高なネタを提供しており、メニューには“醤油は必要なし”と書かれているように、個々の素材の旨味を最大限に引き出した最高級の寿司を作り上げている。

 現在はキッチンが無い為に寿司懐石のみの提供となっているが、将来はキッチン付きの寿司屋を開店したいとチェン氏は意欲を示している。席数が8席と限られおり同日予約を受け付けていない人気店の為、ディナー時には行列が出来る事も多いので事前にオンラインでの予約が推奨される。
 


Oma San Francisco Station
1737 Post Street., Suite 337, San Francisco, CA 94115
                             
Website: https://www.omasfstation.com
Email: contact@omasfstation.com
 
Mon.- Sun. 12:00pm – 10:00pm
(Last Seating: 8:30pm)
#alljapannews #Oma #SF #salmon #sushi

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

The seafood and seasonal food ingredients come directly from Tsukiji Market. A popular restaurant specializing in sushi,

スレッド
The seafood and seasonal food... The seafood and seasonal food... The seafood and seasonal food... The seafood and seasonal food... The seafood and seasonal food...
By Keiko Fukuda

On Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles, near where the 405 and 10 freeways merge, stands “Japanese Cuisine Shunji”. When first completed in 1931, this roundish uniquely- shaped building was a chili bowl specialty restaurant, and before Shunji, it was a barbecue restaurant. Once you step into the building, a stylish brown-toned space opens up. Among the chic interior decorations, a large Japanese antique dresser which stands between the entrance and the sushi bar which dividing the two spaces, particularly attracts your attention.

“It is a vintage dresser from about 120 years ago,” says Shunji Nakao, the owner/chef. Not only does he have excellent taste in choosing furniture, he also designed the interior space by drawing his own image of it to remodel the place to the present style. The space near the ceiling is covered with dozens of articles published in the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly, in which the restaurant was featured.

The food served here is sushi made with Tsukiji-direct ingredients, and seasonal cuisine in which plentiful seasonal ingredients are used. Shunji shows his particularity, especially in sushi and sashimi. “In the 1980’s, Japanese cuisine in the US was not well-established yet. Raw fish was not well accepted either.

People didn’t know the difference between sashimi and sushi. I used to wonder a lot about what to do to have Americans eat sashimi. I felt that I needed to keep educating customers who don’t know much about sushi, on the fact that sushi is more than salmon, spicy tuna, and Hamachi. Thankfully, many customers now have become able to eat various kinds of fish. Some of our regular customers have traveled to Japan, and visited well-known sushi restaurants,” says Shunji.

One such customer was Johnathan Gold, a food critic who was one of the admirers of Shunji’s sushi, who passed away recently.

Shunji came to live in the US in 1984. He worked at Osho restaurant on Third Street with Nobuyuki Matsuhisa (Nobu) and Tetsuya Nakao, his brother. In 1987, he followed Nobu when Nobu opened Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills. In 1991, he opened Asanebo in Studio City with his brother, and helped it grow into a popular restaurant where people in the entertainment industry gather.

After that, Shunji moved to The Hump in the Santa Monica Airport, and opened his own restaurant in Tokyo, etc. In 2012, in order to further pursue his own style of sushi, he opened Shunji. People come not just from the Los Angeles area, pbut also from San Francisco, and even New York, to taste Shunji’s sushi.

Besides sushi, many visually-beautiful appetizers made with unique ideas are served. Among them, the Agedashi Tomato Tofu with eggplant and shishito pepper topping, and the Uni Wagyu, which is sea urchin rolled in wagyu beef, are very popular. Their 3–dimensional presentations look so wonderful, and deserve to be mentioned separately. They look like gem stones made with carefully selected ingredients.

So far, it sounds like he has been running his business smoothly with no hardship; however, the truth is that there were times when he was unable to use his arms and legs, and could not make sushi due to the pain from a car accident he was involved in. He tried hard to self-rehabilitate for a few years, but suffered a long time from the side-effects of the injuries from the accident. He went to Japan to have surgery, and has now recovered completely. Actually, he got the information about the Japanese doctor from one of his customers.

To end the interview, I asked him about his future prospects for the restaurant. He said, “I think the Japanese cuisine in the US will become more diversified and specialized. We might concentrate more on mainly serving sushi. I also strive every day to serve the kinds of food that could satisfy even our gourmet customers who know the taste of Japan so well, and would go to Japan to enjoy authentic sushi and Japanese cuisine. I would like to continue working with pride being Japanese, and also would like to play a role to serve as a bridge to the next generation.”


築地直送の魚と旬の食材。寿司にこだわる人気店
Shunji.


Text & Photos by Keiko Fukuda

ウエストロサンゼルス、フリーウェイの405号線と10号線が交差するジャンクションからすぐのピコ・ブルバード沿いに立つ「Japanese Cuisine Shunji.」。1931年に完成した当時はチリボウルの専門店、Shunji.の前はバーベキューレストランだったという丸みを帯びたユニークな形の建物の中に足を踏み入れると、そこには茶系を中心に配したシックな空間が広がっていた。中でも目を引くのは入り口と寿司バーの間を仕切るように置かれた日本の古い箪笥。

「約120年前のビンテージの箪笥です」と話すのは、オーナーシェフの中尾俊二さんだ。家具選びにセンスが光るだけでなく、俊二さん自らインテリアのイメージを絵に描いて現在のスタイルに改装したそうだ。天井近くのスペースにはLos Angeles TimesやLA Weeklyに店が紹介された記事が数十点、レイアウトされている。

ここで出されているのは、築地直送のネタで握る寿司と旬の食材を使った季節料理。俊二さんは、特に寿司と刺身にはこだわりを見せる。「1980年代当時、アメリカで日本料理の地位はまだ低く、生魚も敬遠されていました。刺身と寿司の違いについても知らない人がいました。私はどうやったらアメリカ人に刺身を食べてもらえるか、頭をひねったものです。また、寿司について多くを知らないお客さんには教えていかないといけないと思っています。サーモンやスパイシーツナ、ハマチだけではないということです。今では、有難いことに、それ以外のいろいろな魚も食べてもらえるようになりました。常連さんには日本の有名店に寿司を食べに行く方もいます」。先般亡くなった食の評論家、ジョナサン・ゴールドも、俊二さんの寿司に賛辞を贈る一人だった。

俊二さんが渡米したのは1984年。サード・ストリートにあったOshoで松久信幸(ノブ)さん、兄の中尾哲也さんと働き、1987年、ノブさんがビバリーヒルズにMatsuhisaをオープンする際に行動を共にした。1991年には兄と共同でスタジオシティにAsaneboを開店。ここもまたエンターテインメント業界人が通う人気店に成長した。

そして、俊二さんはサンタモニカ空港内のHumpに移り、東京で自身の店を開くなどした後、さらに自分の寿司を追求するために2012年、Shunji.を開いた。店にはロサンゼルス界隈はもちろん、サンフランシスコやニューヨークからも俊二さんの寿司を求めて客は訪れるという。

寿司以外にも、独創的なアイデアで目にも美しいアペタイザーも数多い。中でもナスとシシトウをトッピングした、揚げ出しトマト豆腐、ウニを和牛でロールしたウニ和牛は特に人気。立体的に盛り付けられたプレゼンテーションの素晴らしさは特筆に値する。厳選された食材を使った宝石のような逸品だ。

現在まで特に苦境はなく経営を続けてきたように思われるが、俊二さんが追突事故にあったことで、一時は手足が動かず、身体の痛みから寿司を握ることが叶わなかった時期もあるそうだ。自力で2、3年かけてリハビリに励んだものの、後遺症に悩まれていた。しかし、日本で手術を受けた結果、今では見事に回復した。その日本の医師の情報も、店の顧客から得たものだという。

最後に今後の店としてのビジョンを聞いた。「これから(アメリカの)日本食は細分化、専門化が進んでいくと思います。うちの店も寿司をメインに絞っていくことになるかもしれません。また、美味しいお寿司や和食を食べに日本に行って来るような、日本の味をよく知っている当店のお客様にも、常に満足して頂ける料理をという思いで日々頑張っています。私自身は今後も日本人として胸を張って仕事をしていくと共に、次世代への架け橋としての役割も担っていければと思っています」。



Shunji.
12244 West Pico Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310)826-4737
http://shunji-ns.com

Tue.-Thu. 12:00pm-2:00pm
6:00pm-10:00pm
Fri. 12:00pm-2:00pm
6:00pm-10:30pm
Sat. 6:00pm-10:30pm

Closed on Sunday & Monday
#alljapannews #seafood #shunji #tsukiji #sushi #la

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

A sushi restaurant which celebrated its 30th anniversary in spite of the odds going through changes in clientele over the years

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A sushi restaurant which cele... A sushi restaurant which cele... A sushi restaurant which cele... A sushi restaurant which cele... A sushi restaurant which cele...
By Keiko Fukuda

Palos Verdes is a residential area in the suburbs where you find many ethnic groups including Japanese. Compared to its west side which faces the Pacific Ocean, the east side, looking down the harbor of Los Angeles, has a lot of commercial buildings including a shopping mall. On Western Avenue, which runs through the middle of the area, there is a Japanese restaurant that has been running since its opening in 1988 at the same location. It is “Tashiro”.

The owner/chef, Yoshinori Tashiro, is from Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture. He obtained a Japanese cook license in 1975, and 4 years later, was head-hunted, and came to Los Angeles. He worked at a trademark restaurant in Little Tokyo called “Yagura Ichiban”. After working there for 8 years, he became independent and fully prepared, and decided to open his own restaurant in Palos Verdes. He said, “I picked the location because the view from the hill, looking down to the harbor, reminds me of Honmoku, Yokohama”. The view of San Pedro below at night also made him nostalgic.

“It was hard at the beginning. It was 2 and a half years later when the operation finally started to get going. One good thing about the location was the fact that many Italians and Croatians live nearby. They have the habit of eating a lot of seafood from the Adriatic Sea, and can easily accept octopuses, sea urchins, and blueback fish such as mackerels and sardines. They must have been eating that kind of seafood since their childhood.

Consequently, the Italians and Croatians who were working at the harbor area became the regular customers. In addition, Japanese business people who worked for Japanese American companies in the Torrance area, and their families started to account for a certain portion of their clientele. Except the first 2 and a half hard years, Tashiro had been running smoothly. However, Mr. Tashiro says, that the number of sales started to decline about a year and a half ago when Toyota North America, who used to have the headquarters in Torrance, moved to Texas.

“The families of those Japanese business people often came on Sunday nights.

Many of them definitely went away. Because of the changes in clientele, we are getting less of certain kinds of fish such as seabreams that used to sell a lot. The kind of fish we buy has changed. Even so, dinner time is still pretty busy now with mostly American customers. They have 3 rotations in both the dining space and the sushi counter.

I asked Mr. Tashiro, who has been continuously running the restaurant for the last 30 years, what his policy is as a sushi chef. He said, “When I first came to the States, I had a kind of a firm principle about how sushi should be like. However, seeing a customer putting sweet sauce for broiled eel on the highest-quality fatty tuna, looking quite satisfied and enjoying it right in front of me, made me think about the way of my thinking.

As time passed by, my thinking has changed. Now I think anything is all right as long as the customer truly enjoys the way of his/her own tasting. Despite all that, I am still very particular about the freshness of the sushi ingredients.”

He showed me a photograph, which shows sushi and sashimi in a wooden box. He explained, “This is the photo of a bento box ordered by a customer who was going to the Hollywood Bowl. The customer didn’t care how much it would cost, but wanted the best possible assortment of foods.” The Hollywood Bowl is a concert venue under the night sky during summer, like Central Park in New York.

The audience brings their own drinks and food to the venue, and enjoy music individually. The customer must have wanted to taste his best favorite foods at the Hollywood Bowl.

“Tashiro” has been loved by many people. It celebrated its 30th anniversary in June. “I intend to keep working at the restaurant as long as my health permits,” says Mr. Tashiro who will soon be turning 70 years old. “I am thinking about stopping to offer straws in the restaurant. I saw a video of a sea turtle with a straw stuck in its nose. I felt so bad,” he said, showing another side of him as a surfer. I felt that the sweet side of him could be one of the reasons
that attract many customers to his restaurant.


客層を変えながらも30周年迎えた寿司屋

パロスバーデスは日本人も多く暮らす郊外の住宅地だ。太平洋に面した西側に比べ、ロサンゼルスの港を見下ろす東側のエリアにはショッピングモールなどの商業施設が多い。その中心街とも言えるウエスターン・アベニュー沿いに1988 年にオープンしてから、同じ場所で今も営業を続けているのが日本食の店、Tashiro。

 オーナーシェフの田代良則さんは神奈川県の出身。1975 年、日本の調理師免許を取得し、その4年後にヘッドハントされる形でロサンゼルスに渡った。店は、リトルトーキョーのランドマークになっている櫓近くにあった櫓一番というレストラン。そして8年間勤続した後に満を持して独立する際、ロケーションをパロスバーデスに決めたのは「この丘から港を見下ろす風景が横浜の本牧にとても似ていたから」だと言う。夜になると、眼下に広がるサンペドロの街の夜景にも郷愁を誘われたそうだ。

「最初はやはり大変でしたね。軌道に乗ったのは2年半後くらい。でも、良かったのはこの辺の住人はイタリア人やクロアチア人が多いということなんです。彼らはアドリア海で獲れる魚介を食べる習慣があるから、タコ、ウニ、それにサバ、アジ、イワシなどの青魚にも抵抗がありません。子どもの頃から食べ慣れているんですね」

 こうして、港湾で働くイタリア系やクロアチア系のアメリカ人が同店の常連客となっていった。さらにパロスバーデスの北にあるトーランスの日系企業に働く駐在員を中心とした日本人ビジネスマンやその家族も一定の層を占めるようになった。最初の2年半を除けば、順調に経営を続けていたTashiro だが、トーランスに本社を置いていた北米トヨタがテキサスに移転した1年前からは数字に変化が見られるようになったと田代さんは話す。

「かつては駐在員のお客さんは、日曜の夜に家族で来店されることが多かったんですよ。でも、確実にそのようなお客さんは減ってしまいました。顧客層の様変わりで、以前はよく出ていた金目鯛などの仕入れが減って魚の種類も変わりましたね」

 それでも、今もアメリカ人の顧客を中心にディナータイムには賑わいを見せる。ダイニングと寿司バーの顧客はそれぞれ3回転するそうだ。 30 年間、店を続けてきた寿司職人としてのポリシーを聞くと、田代さんは「アメリカに渡ってきた当初は、寿司はこうでなくちゃいけないっていう確固とした信念のようなものがありました。しかし、目の前で最高のトロにウナギのタレをつけて食べるお客さんを見ると、そのお客さんにとって美味しい食べ方ならいいのだというように、時間と共に考え方も変わりましたね。それでも、寿司ネタの新鮮さだけにはこだわります」と答えた。

そして、田代さんが見せてくれた写真には、お重に詰められた寿司と刺身が写っていた。「これは、お客さんがハリウッドボウルに行くので、値段はいくらでも構わないからとびきりの料理を作ってくれ、と注文されたお弁当なんです」と田代さん。ハリウッドボウルは夏の間に夜空の下でコンサートが開催される、ニューヨークで言うところのセントラルパークのような場所。オーディエンスは飲み物や料理を持参して思い思いに音楽を楽しむ。きっと、そのお客さんは自分
が一番好きな料理をハリウッドボウルで味わいたいと思ったに違いない。

 多くの客に愛されてきたTashiro。6月で30 周年を迎えたが、「これからも体力が続く限りは店に立つ」ともうすぐ70 歳になる田代さん。「今度からうちの店ではストローを出さないようにしようかと思っています。ウミガメの鼻に刺さったストローの映像を見たら、もう可哀想でね」と、サーファーとしての横顔も持つ。その心優しさも、顧客をこの店に惹きつけ続ける要因だと感じた。



Tashiro
29050 S.Western Ave.Ste 11
Rancho Palose Verdes, CA 90275
(310) 547-4597
Tue.-Fri. 11:30am-1:45pm
Tue.-Sun. 5:00pm-9:30pm
Monday Closed
#alljapannews #tashiro #CA #sushi #PaloseVerdes

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Sushi Seki A sushi restaurant that never stops evolving “Sushi Seki”, in Times Square

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Sushi Seki A su... Sushi Seki A su... Sushi Seki A su... Sushi Seki A su... Sushi Seki A su... Sushi Seki A su...
By Aya Ota

The very Japanese-looking façade of a restaurant that stands out on a busy street called the “Restaurant Row” in Times Square’s Theater District, catches your eyes. It is “Sushi Seki”, which is well known for its high-quality fresh seafood that they serve, and creative sushi, full of seasonal ingredients that you can enjoy.

Seki Shi, the owner/chef, is from the Fujian Province of China. He went to Tokyo to study at the age of 17. There, he opened his eyes to cooking, and distinguished himself. He went to New York in 1991, and worked at various notable restaurants including “Sushi of Gari” before he became independent, and opened “Sushi Seki” in the Upper East Side District.

Then, he opened two more restaurants 2 years in a row, the second one in Chelsea in January of 2014, and the third one in Times Square in October of 2015. Opening of another in Brooklyn is also in the works. People usually believe that the more authentic the sushi restaurant is, the harder it would be to expand the business to multiply, because in order to have such success, it heavily relies on the capabilities of artisans. I wonder what kind of dynamic power has been supporting this unstoppable advance.

“The Times Square restaurant is hugely different from the other two. It is positioned as the flagship, which represents integrated forms of various styles,” says Yasuyuki Suzuki, the General Manager.

Inside of this restaurant is a luxurious space with 80 seats on the first floor, and 70 on the second floor. Once you step inside, a spacious counter and tables open up in front of you. There is a space called the“Kappo Room” in the back, where a counter, tables, and a communal table are situated facing the open kitchen. On the second floor, there is a bar, where you enjoy mostly Japanese whiskey drinks, terrace tables by the windows, a private Japanese room, and a hide-out-like space where you enjoy omakase-style sushi. This place can accommodate every situation; business meetings, family get-togethers, large groups, couples on a date, or a single customer.

The menu, which used to contain mostly sushi, has been largely evolved. The Kappo cuisine aspect was launched due to Chef Seki’s strong hope and intention to take “restaurant cooking” as a whole, seriously. They serve a wide variety of seasonal a-la-carte dishes. Among them, the “Special Kappo Counter Menu” (from $85), full of both land and ocean ingredients of each season, changes the contents monthly. There are also dishes from which you can feel the changes of Japanese seasons, which you can rarely find in the US such as “Ayu ‘Sweet Fish’ Sansho-Ni”, and “Kogomi ‘Fiddlehead Fern’ with Sesame Sauce”.

There is a menu item, which is unique due to the condition, which is that the restaurant is located in the Theater District. The “Mini Omakase” ($55) is a popular item, which cleverly satisfies both the needs of theater-goers who don’t have much time to eat before shows start, and also the smooth running of the restaurant.

“It is not easy to fill this many seats in this location. To try a vast variety of styles means that it is required to accommodate every customer’s need,” tells Mr. Suzuki about the difficulty of realizing it. He met Seki Shi at “Sushi of Gari” in 2000, when he started his career as a manager. He joined the launch and the operation of the first “Sushi Seki”, but left them for a while between 2005 and 2012, building his career by working for various famous restaurants including “Megu”, “15 East”, and “Sakamai”. When Seki Shi was preparing to open the second Sushi Seki, he was asked to join the project again.

Mr. Suzuki is in charge of managing everything for all the restaurants in the chain except cooking. He acquires customers, hires staff members, teaches them how to serve, and even creates the ambience of each restaurant. By being a leading sake sommelier of New York, he put his strong efforts into creating their drink menus, and contributed to help them win the fabulous “NYC50” award in the “Wine and Spirits Magazine” 2 years in a row. It is very rare that a dink menu from a Japanese restaurant gets selected. In 2017, they were the only Japanese restaurant winner. I was so impressed with not only the good balance they show in every field, the great variety, and the depth, but also the contents which skillfully offer customers the ease of selection, and for the staff to make recommendations.

Mr. Suzuki is supporting the restaurant’s super success by being the other wheel of Seki, by creating drink menus to enhance Seki’s cooking, and handling the management, etc. With his principle, “there is no manual for hospitality”, he produces a superbly comfortable space which possesses both a home-like atmosphere and sophistication.

I would really like you to try “Sushi Seki”, which continue to evolve all the time.


決して進化を止めることのない寿司店『すし石』タイムズスクエア店

タイムズスクエアの劇場街、“レストラン通り” と呼ばれる賑やかな通りに、忽然と現れる純和風の店構えに目を奪われるーここ『すし石』は、高品質で鮮度の高い魚介類を使い、季節感あふれる創作寿司を楽しめることでよく知られる店だ。

 オーナー・シェフの石氏は中国福建省出身。17歳で東京へ留学、そこで料理に目覚め頭角を現した。1991 年にニューヨークに渡り、『Sushi of Gari』をはじめとする名店で活躍後、2002 年に独立。アッパーイースト地区に『すし石』を開店した。

 そして、2014年1月に2店舗目となるチェルシー店、2015 年10 月には3 店舗目となるタイムズスクエア店を立て続けに開店。近々、ブルックリンでの開店計画も進行中だ。本格的な寿司店ほど、職人個人の技量に頼るところが大きく、多店舗展開が難しいと思われがちだが、この快進撃を支える原動力とは一体何だろうか。

 「タイムズスクエア店はこれまでの2店舗とは大きく違う。さまざまな形態を総合的に展開するフラッグシップ店として位置づけている」と語るのは、ジェネラル・マネジャーの鈴木康之氏。

 1階に80席、2階に70席という贅沢な空間。一歩足を踏み入れると、広々としたカウンター席とテーブル席が続く。奥には「Kappo Room」と呼ぶ空間があり、そこにはオープンキッチンに面したカウンター席、テーブル席、コミューナル・テーブルが配置されている。2階に上がると、日本産ウィスキーを中心に楽しめるウィスキー・バー、窓際のテラス席、座敷の個室、おまかせ寿司を楽しめる隠れ家風の空間が存在する。商談、家族連れ、団体、デート、一人など、あらゆるシチュエーションに対応できる仕様だ。

寿司が中心だったメニューも大きく進化。「レストランとして真剣に“料理” に取り組みたい」という石氏の強い意向で割烹料理を開始した。月替わりで、四季折々の山海の恵みが満載の「割烹おまかせ(85ドル〜) 」のほか、バラエティ豊かなアラカルトを提供。稚鮎の山椒煮やこごみの胡麻和えなど、米国ではなかなか味わえない日本の季節感だ。

 また、劇場街という特殊な立地ならではの試み「ミニおまかせ(55 ドル)」も提供。観劇前で食事時間が十分取れない客からの要望と、店側の運営円滑化を見事に両立させた内容で、好評を博している。

 「この立地でこの席数を埋めるのは簡単ではない。さまざまな形態に取り組むということは、あらゆる客のニーズに応える必要があるということ」と、その難しさを語る鈴木氏。同氏は、マネジメントとしてのキャリアを開始した2000年に『Sushi of Gari』で石氏と出会った。その後、『すし石』1 号店の開店・運営に携わった後、いったん離れ、2005 〜12年は『Megu』『15 East』『Sakamai』など、数々の名店で実績を重ねた。そして、石氏が2 号店の開店準備を進めている時、「再び一緒にやってほしい」と請われた。

 鈴木氏は、全店で、集客、スタッフ採用・教育、接客、店の雰囲気作りに至るまで、料理以外のマネジメントを統括する。さらに、ニューヨークを代表する酒ソムリエでもある同氏は、飲料メニューにも力を注ぎ、『Wine and Spirits Magazine』で2 年連続「NYC50」に選ばれるという快挙を成し遂げた。日本食店の飲料メニューが選出されるのは非常に稀で、2017 年は同店のみだ。それぞれの分野でのバランスの良さ、種類の多さや奥深さに驚かされるだけでなく、客にとっての選びやすさとスタッフにとっての勧めやすさを両立させた内容は、「さすが」の一言に尽きる。

石氏の料理を引き立てる飲料メニュー、シェフとしての石氏を支えるマネジメント…という具合に、鈴木氏が両輪のひとつとなり、同店の快進撃を支える。「ホスピタリティにマニュアルはない」という信条で、家庭的な雰囲気とお洒落さを併せ持つ、絶妙な居心地の良さを演出する。

 常に進化し続ける『すし石』、ぜひ足を運んでみてほしい。



Sushi Seki
(Flagship-Times Square)
365 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212) 262-8880
http://www.sushiseki.com/

Mon. 5:00pm-11:00pm
Tues.-Sat. 5:00pm-12:00am
#alljapannews #sushi #SushiSeki #NY #restaurant

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Authentic sushi by Tsukiji-acquired skills enjoyed in a hideout with limited seating of 7

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Authentic sushi by Tsukiji-acqu... Authentic sushi by Tsukiji-acqu... Authentic sushi by Tsukiji-acqu... Authentic sushi by Tsukiji-acqu... Authentic sushi by Tsukiji-acqu...
By Elli Sekine

“Yume Sushi”, a famous popular sushi restaurant located in the Alameda District, which is on the east side of the bay across the Bay Bridge of San Francisco, closed its doors last fall and is still being missed by many people. Yume’s owner entrusted the next phase of his dream to Chikara Ono, who now runs some hot restaurants in the East Bay such as Delage and As B-Dama, which are really on a roll. The restaurant which opened only less than half a year after the closing of Yume Sushi is “Utzutzu”, which offers new concept kaiseki cuisine. Their menu uses the word, “Okimari”, instead of “Omakase”, which exhibits the strong will of this young manager. “Utzutzu (reality in Japanese)” that succeeded “Yume (dream in Japanese)” has been filled up with customers every day despite the fact that they opened only a short time ago.

The restaurant is located on a major street, but no sigh is displayed on the street, and you need to go upstairs to enter, which gives this place a hideout-like ambience. The interior decoration has a combined theme of antique Taisho-era romantic and Showa-era modern. By removing the wall to the next room which was an office space, the sushi counter was made, and a cool royal blue- colored couch was added to create a lounge. They take only 5:30 and 8:30 reservations, and the two reservations do not overlap. Customers are to wait in the lounge, enjoying drinks until everybody in the party arrives. The drink menu contains 2 to 3 kinds of each Daiginjo, Ginjo, and Junmai sake brands, plus beer is domestic beer and two kinds of Japanese craft beer. Nicely cooled sake is served in an antique glass. The chef who serves sushi at the counter is Joji Nonaka, who has experience working at Tsukiji selling wholesale fresh seafood, and at Ichi Sushi, a popular sushi restaurant in San Francisco. He determines the contents of the menu with Chef Asuka Uchida, who is in charge of other items besides sushi.

Nonaka was making sushi side by side with Ono behind the counter of Delage, long before the opening of Utzutzu came up. Ono then decided to entrust Utzutzu to Nonaka by witnessing Ono always offering customers sushi at the best possible condition. As for Chef Uchida, she has a background of working at French restaurants, and has worked in Japan, Australia, and New York before.

Chef Uchida has worked under Ono for nearly 5 years since the B- Dama days, and her keen sense in cooking is highly trusted.

There is only one menu item, which is the $100 Okimari course. The course consists of 15 to 16 pieces of sushi, and seasonal vegetable dishes are served in-between while sushi is served. To finalize the course, temaki (hand-rolled) sushi, and miso soup, and a dessert are served. In America, a course with pre-fixed price and menu can be called “Omakase”; however in Japan, it is called “Okimari”. “Omakase” in Japan, on the other hand, means neither the price nor the contents of the course is pre-fixed. It is an ultimate choice, in which the crafty chef makes sushi, etc., depending on the customer’s preference, and serves whatever the good ingredients they have for the day.

Nonaka says that he would also like to offer an “Omakase” menu in the future. At Utzutzu, they are particular about serving authentic Japanese style sushi. The fish is directly shipped mainly from Tsukiji and Kyushu, and for nigiri, they are particular about bringing out each fish’s natural flavor, rather than accentuating the taste with unique sauces or toppings. Depending on the ingredients, some preparation is involved such as light-salting or konbu-jime (kelp-sandwiching), but it is done to remove excess water or unwanted taste rather than accentuating the taste of the ingredient.

During my visit, black porgy konbu-jime was served first, followed by fire-grilled skin of the same fish. Excess water was removed from the tender meat by konbu-jime treatment, and the fish was light-tasting, but was full of umami.

Fatty skin adds flavor, and its texture becomes so tender, which melts in your mouth. The same fish can be enjoyed in totally different ways depending on the parts. The course always includes about 2 pieces of vegetable sushi. It is because they want the course to have variations with a seasonal flare that is uniquely California.

Different blends of soy sauces are used to accentuate light-tasting ingredients and rich-tasting ingredients. Another example of particularity they exhibit is that raw wasabi directly shipped from Japan is grated in front of customers.

Rich-colored vinegared rice is made with mildly sweet red vinegar. Nonaka says that he would like to keep the old sushi traditions, but at the same time, bring any good things in to grow further. He is assertive about taking any interesting ingredients in. For example, a vegetable called seabean, which grows by the sea is combined with fatty tuna for the course’s last item, a hand-roll, taking advantage of its natural saltiness and crunchy texture. It’s the Nonaka version of the standard hand-roll, “Toro-Taku”, arranged his way.

For the dishes other than sushi, they use vegetables procured from the local farmer’s markets, which are cooked in robust flavor, which also matches Japanese sake well.

French cuisine-influenced good sense is shown in the techniques and presentations by the chef of that background. For instance, the base of octopus in vinegar sauce has certainly a Japanese dashi-based taste, but it is presented so gorgeously in a cocktail glass, which looks like a modern French dish. Their desserts also taste so good, and are beyond the level of a sushi place, and their beautiful appearance will surely satisfy customers.

This restaurant is full of customers every day. Foodies come from not only the local Alameda District, but also San Francisco, and fill this restaurant. While the high-end Omakase sushi boom seems to have settled, there are more customers now, who understand sushi culture well, and this must be the reason for the popularity of this place.

Both Chef Nonaka and Chef Uchida hope to evolve the Japan-like sushi style further, while conveying it to American people. I would like to keep close eyes on Utzutzu’s future development.


限定7席の隠れ家で味わう築地仕込みの本格寿司

サンフランシスコからベイブリッジを渡った東側の湾、アラメダ地区に寿司の名店として人気を博していた「Yume Sushi」が昨年秋、周囲に惜しまれつつ閉店した。Yumeのオーナーがその夢の続きを託した人物が、今イーストベイでノリに乗っている人気店、DelageやAs B-damaの経営者である小野力氏だ。クローズからたった半年余りでオープンしたのが、新しいコンセプトの寿司懐石を提案する「Utzutzu」だ。メニューには「おまかせ」ならぬ「おきまり」と明記し、若き経営者の本気度を感じさせられる。「夢 Yume」の後を引き継いた「現(うつつ) Utzutzu」はまだ開店したばかりにも関わらず連日満席の人気ぶりだ。

店はメインストリートに位置するが、看板もなく階段を上がった二階にある隠れ家的存在だ。内装は大正ロマン/昭和モダンを取り入れたアンティークなイメージで統一されている。元事務所スペースとの壁を取り壊し、寿司カウンターに加え、鮮やかなロイヤルブルーのソファーを配したラウンジを作った。予約は5時半と8時半の完全入れ替え制。客は全員が揃うのを待つ間、このラウンジでドリンクを楽しむ。ドリンクは日本酒が大吟醸、吟醸、純米酒が2〜3種ずつ、ビールはローカルと日本のクラフトビール2種。適温に冷やされた酒はアンティークのグラスで提供される。カウンターで寿司を握るのは、築地での鮮魚卸やサンフランシスコの人気寿司店ICHI Sushiでの経験もある野中城治シェフ。メニュー内容は寿司以外の料理を担当する内田明日香シェフと相談して決めている。野中氏はUtzutzu開店の話が出る以前からDelageで小野氏と並びカウンターで寿司を握っていた。小野氏は常に最高の状態で客に寿司を提供しようとする野中氏を見て、Utzutzuを任せようと決めたという。一方の内田シェフはフレンチレストラン出身で、日本、オーストラリア、ニューヨークでの経験を経て現在がある。小野氏の元ではB-dama時代から5年近く仕事をし、その料理センスには全幅の信頼がある。

メニューは$100のおきまり1コースのみ。寿司が15〜16貫、合間にキッチンからの季節の野菜料理があり、しめの手巻きすしと味噌汁、デザートと続く。アメリカでは価格とメニューの決まったコースは「おまかせ」で通るが、日本ではこのスタイルは「おきまり」と呼ばれる。一方の「おまかせ」は価格もメニュー内容も決まりはなく、職人は客の好みやその日の良いネタからそれぞれの客に合わせて寿司を出す究極のセレクションだ。野中氏は将来的に「おまかせ」も提供して行きたいと語る。Utzutzuでのこだわりは日本的な寿司。魚は主に築地や九州からの直送で、握りには変わりソースやトッピングで味を乗せるのではなく、魚の味を引き出すことにこだわる。ネタによっては軽く塩や昆布で〆るなどの手をかけるが、これは味をのせるためというよりも、余分な水分や雑味を取り除くための仕事だ。訪店時には最初に黒鯛の昆布締めが出され、続いて黒鯛の皮の部分の炙りをいただいた。淡白で柔らかい身は昆布で締めることで余分な水分が抜け、さっぱりとしつつ旨味が広がる。脂ののった皮には香ばしさが加わりとろける口当たりになる。同じ魚でも部位で全く違う味わいを楽しめる。握りの中には必ず2貫程度野菜の握りもある。カリフォルニアならではの季節感を出し、コースに変化を持たせるためだ。淡白なネタと味の濃いネタでは仕上げ醤油の配合も変えている。日本から直送の生ワサビを客の前でおろして使うのもこだわりだ。

濃い色の酢飯はまろやかな甘みのある赤酢(粕酢)を使用している。野中氏は寿司の伝統にもこだわりつつ、良いものは取り入れ成長して行きたいと語る。食材でも面白いものがあれば積極的にとり入れる。例えばシービーンズという海岸で育つ野菜は天然の塩気とシャキシャキとした食感を生かし、最後の手巻きでトロと合わせる。手巻きの定番、「トロタク」を野中流にアレンジした形だ。

寿司以外の料理は地元のファーマーズマーケットなどから仕入れた野菜を使い、日本酒にも合うしっかりとした味付けになっている。テクニックや盛り付けにはフレンチ出身シェフならではセンスも生かされている。例えば蛸の酢の物のベースはしっかりと和の出汁の聞いた味わいだが、カクテルグラスへの盛り付けはモダンフレンチを思わせる華やかさだ。デザートも寿司屋の域を超えたパティスリーレベルの美味しさ、美しさで客を満足させる。

店はすでに連日フルハウス。地元アラメダのみならず、サンフランシスコからのフーディーな客でいっぱいだ。ハイエンドおまかせ寿司ブームは一段落したとはいえ、数年前よりも寿司に理解のある客が増えたからこその人気ではないだろうか。より日本らしい寿司スタイルをアメリカ人にも伝えつつ進化させたいとする野中氏と内田氏。Utzutzuの展開をこれからも注視していきたい。



Utzutzu
1428 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501
Tel: (510) 263-8122
Business Hours Tue-Sun 5:30-,8:30 - (replacement system)
Monday closed
Reservation: Through Resy
#alljapannews #CA #Utzutzu #sushi #sake

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

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