Sushi Azabu has the look and feel of a private den. The space is dim and cozy, yet there are attractively spare embellishments like the pebble-inlaid floor, comfortable curved booths, and the dark, slender painting of a carp behind the counter. Food is not merely prepared but presented with tremendous care: fresh oysters arrive on red lacquer bowls; sushi is set on earthy and metallic pottery; and ebony chopsticks lay on a gold-leaf circular rest. Service is timely and the chefs' skill are clear as they present each nigiri with earnest explanations. The procession of omakase may feature a gargantuan and briny oyster from Washington state, cut into quarters and topped with a drizzle of ponzu, slivered scallion, and grated daikon. Sample stellar sashimi including creamy uni, fatty tuna set over shiso leaf and daikon, as well as silver-skinned mackerel over shaven myoga ginger. Superb grilled dishes highlight skewered toro chunks with a mouthwatering soy glaze-each nugget virtually melts in the mouth. Before your eyes, a dedicated chef masterfully cuts nigiri like fatty bluefin tuna fresh from Boston, tender Japanese sea eel, and unctuous sweet sea scallop with yuzu salt.
MICHELIN guide inspectors
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