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Pete Wells Would Risk Molten Lava for Shuko's Three Star Sushi

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Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau convince Wells that even spicy tuna rolls can be excellent.

Daniel Krieger

Pete Wells is entranced by Shuko, the new omakase bar from Neta alums Jimmy Lau and Nick Kim, and impressed by the chefs' progress. "Neta...Compared with Shuko it looks like a restaurant on training wheels." Dishes like toro tartare on milk bread were so good, Wells says: "no force on earth could have stopped me short of hot lava flowing under the front door." Even tired sushi staples like a retooled spicy tuna roll wow Wells.

[Kim] handed me a spicy tuna roll that would casually knock over my ideas about spicy tuna rolls, and spice, and tuna. Pickled red Thai chiles sat on top of the roll, chopped to bits and ready for action. The tuna underneath was soft sinew cut from the belly of a bluefin. It was grilled until the fat ran...

Lau and Kim learned some of their skills under the tutelage of sushi master Masa Takayama, but, now, at least according to Wells, the students have become the masters. Wells, who recently gave Kappo Masa a big, fat, goose egg, takes a brutal shot at Masa's operations:

Particularly now that the overpriced and underperforming Kappo Masa has been added to the fold, have begun to look like assembly lines where golden hooks are baited with two- and three-figure delicacies to dangle before whales.

On the other hand, Wells gives Shuko, three stars, adding to the restaurant's already glowing review history. Eater's Ryan Sutton recently gave the omakase counter three stars as well.


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