Come June 7, former O Ya New York executive chef Don Pham will debut Sushi Ishikawa, a reasonably-priced, 500-square foot omakase-only sushi bar on the Upper East Side.
Slated to serve two seasonal omakase menus priced at $85 for 12 courses or $125 for 15 courses, the 23-seat restaurant at 419 East 74th Street is equipped with room for 11 at the bar, presided over by Pham and a sous chef. It will not serve a la carte sushi.
Pham says he’s sourcing fish from around the world, though there’s a clear focus on Japanese waters. While his maguro (blue fin) originates in Spain, kengani (hairy crab) and mama tako (live octopus) land in New York by way of Hokkaido. His uni arrives via Kyushu.
In the last two years, Manhattan has experienced a swell of spendy sushi spots which, thanks to a price point of over $200 per person, lands these bars in the special occasion dining category. Though Pham will garnish certain bites with Russian Osetra caviar, he’s aiming for his first solo effort to be more of a neighborhood place, hence his reasonable cost.
The Upper East Side is no stranger to omakase dining. Sushi Ishikawa will have to contend with nearby darling Tanoshi Sushi, another vendor of affordable omakase dining, in addition to Los Angeles export Sasabune. Also in the nabe are Sushi of Gari, Sushi Seki, with newbie Suzuki a bit farther south.