It’s been awhile since stumbling upon a neighborhood gem has been a mode of restaurant discovery. But now that the city is reopening, physically walking through neighborhood blocks and finding something interesting that is newly opened is more relevant. Case in point is my recent dinner at Sushi Ikumi, a small sushi restaurant that could not be more nondescript. I walked past the simple dark blue awning multiple times, not knowing a restaurant was there, and the absence of visible letter signage didn’t help, until that one day I happened to pay closer attention and saw diners through the window. I made dinner reservations soon after, and had an excellent chef’s tasting omakase. I went to Nakazawa a month earlier, which was also excellent, but Sushi Ikumi’s omakase surpassed that experience.
Sushi Ikumi has a very traditional approach to sushi. Most of the fish is flown in from Japan, and the seasoning is very light and understated. It seems like at one point there was a trend for sushi restaurants in the city to source fish more locally in the States, and rather than serving pieces plain, there was a tendency to sprinkle and marinade the pieces in interesting sauces and salts and to blowtorch bellies to showcase an impressive char. Ikumi is not like that. It’s plain spoken and minimalist, and with fish this good, you don’t need to do a whole lot to it. I’ve posted images from the omakase below. If you see an opening on Resy, run, don’t walk. The team is very lovely, and Chef Jon is very talented.
135 Sullivan St (between Prince and W Houston St)
New York, NY 10012
Reservations on Resy.