In a sushi scene dominated by fanfare and fusion, a master doing what he does best – perfecting life-long techniques with each dining service – is the rarest, most progressive approach of all.
As Elkon explains, “We don’t want anyone focusing on the decor; we want everyone focusing on their black plate–on their sushi. We are just about the sushi. The appetizer, everything, is a prelude to the sushi.”So what makes the sushi at Ichimura so special? Not only the quality of the fish, which is delivered direct from Tokyo's Tsukiji and Kyushu Fish Markets each morning, but also the refined technique with which it's prepared. With a technique called “fish aging,” Ichimura uses salt, vinegar, time, and temperature to yield the best flavor possible, just as a master wine maker ages a Bordeaux to premium effect. And because of the variables from one fish to the next (even within the same species), Chef’s alchemic process means he will taste every piece before settling on the 16 courses of fish he serves each night. Put simply, one hasn’t tasted sushi until he or she has tried Chef Ichimura’s masterful preparations. [caption id="attachment_3195" align="aligncenter" width="680"] Aji - Horse Mackerel. Photo Credit: Evan Sung[/caption] For Elkon, who dined at Brushstroke somewhere near 75 times, and 200 times over the course of Chef’s career, it’s the appreciation of quality and precision that sets Ichimura apart. “You have all these sushi bars that try to be everything to everyone,” says Elkon. “It’s hard enough to be the best at one thing, let alone many. We just strive to be the best at making sushi.” One can’t help but describe the Ichimura experience as artful. In a scene swept up in trends, the craft-focused master wins.