The celebrated team behind Michelin-starred sushi restaurant Kosaka is preparing to launch a more affordable offshoot called Maki Kosaka, the owners tell Eater. The new restaurant, located at 55 W. 19th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, will be led by executive chef Sho Boo, who is currently working at Kosaka and formerly ran Bugs, a 15-seat sushi spot that drew praise from the Times during its run.
At Maki Kosaka, the selling point will be the access to Kosaka’s chefs, and a Kosaka-ish experience, without the Kosaka prices. The restaurant will be split into two sushi bars, a main 22-seat bar and a smaller 12-seat bar, dubbed Maki Omakase. For lunch, there will be $30 seasonal Temaki hand roll sets served at both bars, with the option to pick and choose from an a la carte hand roll menu. At dinner, the 22-seat bar will continue to serve the hand rolls while Boo heads up a seven-course omakase menu with variations of rolls for $80 at Maki Omakase. “It’s like a sushi bar within a sushi bar,” Kosaka owner Key Kim tells Eater.
While the menu is still in early stages, the team plans on leveraging the weight of the Kosaka brand to source both high-quality local and Japanese fish using the strong connections that they already have with Kosaka’s vendors.
Kim previously operated the critically-acclaimed modern Korean restaurant Hwaban in the same location, which shut down in November 2019. Diners can expect an entirely different design of the space for Maki Kosaka. The restaurant’s entrance is housed inside Kinka, a flower shop run by artist EunYoung Sebazco, and the speakeasy-type opening itself will be hidden in flowers.
The opening of Maki Kosaka coincides with the recent boom in popularity for accessible omakase across the city, as demonstrated in successful spots like Nami Nori, Sushi Dojo, and Sugarfish, an LA-based chain with two locations in Manhattan. “Now, it’s the perfect timing,” Kim says, noting that he and his team had wanted to open a concept like Maki Kosaka back when Kosaka itself first opened, four years ago, but didn’t see the consumer demand to sustain it at the time. “More people are accustomed to Japanese cuisine, it’s more approachable. There’s a market for it and we want to share this with New York.”
Maki Kosaka is scheduled to open in either late March or early April.