Step into this White Plains jewel box of a sushi spot and be transported to Japan. After all, chef-owner Yoshimichi Takeda grew up in the country. Having worked at renowned raw-fish retreats Nobu and Masa, he opened Sushi Nanase in 2004. Then, as now, the restaurant contains only 18 seats: three tables of four, plus a sushi bar accommodating another six. The meal style is omakase (“chef’s choice,” or “no-menu”), averaging 8–10 dishes.
“It’s just me,” says Takeda, “providing the best food.” He works from 9 a.m. to midnight six days a week, trying to tailor the fare to his customers and offer them a unique experience during each visit. Takeda is a perfectionist and detail-oriented, preparing his own soy sauce, stocking 10 types of salt, fastidiously weighing ingredients on a digital scale and shopping habitually for new serving pieces. A majority of the deftly cut fish is flown in from Japan. “I want customers to have fun, to just enjoy talking and drinking,” he says.
Excerpt from the February 2006 review: “This is not the everyday sushi you get at that brightly lit neighborhood spot, nor is it the sushi of exotic and contemporary ingredient combinations found at such notable restaurants as Nobu and Masa. At Sushi Nanase, you will experience the very traditional, refined cuisine of Old Tokyo.”