A Secret Sushi Spot In Flatiron
Maki Kosaka presents a refreshing take on sushi classics, in a dining room exuding both elegance and spunk. The mastermind behind this exciting new addition to the NY sushi scene is the same team that runs Micheline-starred omakase restaurant, Kosaka.
The exterior of the restaurant is unsuspecting. Neighboring restaurants on the same street have inviting sidewalk setups adorned with lights, greenery, and bustling wait staff. Maki Kosaka is more timid. At first glance, the restaurant seems to be a home and kitchen shop, with trinkets and pottery visible from the street and no sight of diners or chefs. It takes a keen eye to spot the thin writing that tells you you’re in the right spot.
Steps beyond the lovely shop, the space opens up to a warmly light dining space. The centerpiece of the room is an island where the chefs’ sushi skills are on display for those enjoying their craft. The only seating in the restaurant is that that surrounds the chefs’ station, in true sushi counter fashion. The atmosphere is a mix of classic New York chic, and modern minimalism, but their sushi menu is anything classic.
You can purchase pieces on their own, choose from two of their set menu options, or design your own set menu. The star of the menu is Maki Kosaka’s invented “grab handrolls.” The invention is curious, ingenious, and fun.
Before any of the sushi is presented, a server brings you a clear envelope, which holds crisp individually cut sheets of nori from Kyushu, Japan, with the amount matching the number of pieces ordered. The nori envelope is placed inside a divet in a small wooden block, which allows it to stand up vertically. Each of the five pieces arrives with creative dressings and garnishes, all subtly enhancing the fresh fish and perfectly cooked rice. A particular standout: red snapper with Kizami Wasabi.
The sushi that the chef places on your ceramic plate resembles nigiri, from afar, as there is no nori, just rice, and fish. This is where you exhibit the “grab” component of a “grab handroll.” Simply slide one of the nori sheets out of its encasement, and scoop up the sushi piece. Each sheet is trimmed to the perfect size, which makes for an excellent bite.