Acclaimed sushi chef Eiji Ichimura has filed a lawsuit against his namesake restaurant. Not only does he want his name disassociated with the Leonard Street sushi destination, but the suit also claims he “continues to suffer irreparable injury to his reputation as a result of having defendants’ inferior product associated with his name,” reports the Post.
And though it was reported that Ichimura was leaving the restaurant indefinitely due to health issues, it looks like the chef is staffing up at Uchu (217 Eldridge Street), where he has apparently taken a position.
Ichimura opened in January as a 10-seat restaurant where an omakase for two cost $600 before sake. Despite the price, his name drew fans from Ichimura’s tenure at David Bouley's Brushstroke, where Ichimura met co-owner Idan Elkon, who sat for Ichimura's omakase hundreds of times before he partnered with the chef to open on Leonard Street.
A source close to the restaurant says that in June, Ichimura told Elkon he was physically and emotionally sick and could not work for some time, if ever. A medical leave-of-absence was cited as to the reason why he would no longer be able to serve him in an email sent to customers with future reservations.
Following Ichimura’s departure, Elkon hired a rotating group of sushi chefs to cover for him and dropped the omakase price by $100 to $200 a head. Ichimura is currently closed weekdays and open weekends. Stay tuned for updates.