At this sparely furnished restaurant on an unremarkable stretch of Irving Park Road, chef Simon Liew (Kai Zan) offers both a repudiation of overelaborate, overwrought sushi creations and a brilliant reboot of them. On the one hand, Liew is a purist. The star of the show here is the sashimi, made from fish flown in directly from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market: silky, expertly sliced pieces of bluefin tuna, yellowtail, and whatever else came in that day—jewel-like marvels that require little adornment beyond maybe a dab of soy sauce. There’s spicy mayo, too, but it’s applied with a judicious hand. Liew’s presentations are dazzling, even flamboyant, and when it comes to nigiri, he shows a flair for restrained experimentation, as in salmon anointed with pepper and fragrant apple butter. It’s the kind of subtle enhancement that awakens the senses without overwhelming the flavor of the fish.
Don’t miss:Hokkaido scallops dressed lightly with garlic, lemon, and apple ($18).