Diners looking for an intimate sushi experience can now step inside the world’s first restaurant to open inside of a hotel room.
The new experience comes from Michael Sinensky and Erika London of Simple Venue, whose hospitality company focuses on turning underutilized space in hotels into memorable dining and beverage concepts.
Bouhadana, who is noted for having worked at kitchens that include Sushi Uo and Morimoto in addition to Sushi on Jones and Sushi Dojo, combines an energetic passion for the sushi he prepares with a funky atmosphere to provide diners with a meal they won’t forget.
Sushi By Bou Suite 1001 is hidden behind an unmarked door in the hotel. The hotel experience starts as soon as diners enter the lobby, where they'll be greeted by a front desk attendant who will give them a key card to the 10th floor.
Once inside, visitors will find Prohibition-era décor, leather furnishings, and patterned wall linings.
The 150-square-foot space also includes a lounge area and a four-seat sushi bar so visitors can watch Chef Bouhadana prepare their plates, which include smoked lean tuna and ikura, and uni sea urchin and fatty tuna.
Bouhadana makes it a point to source the fish that is used as part of his omakase from around the world.
The ikura, botan shrimp, and salmon, which is often topped with a tangy yuzu sauce before being served, come from Alaska, while selections like the scallops and hamachi come from Japan.
Be sure to try the Wagyuni — wagyu beef seared and topped with truffle salt and a generous helping of uni — and scallops topped with tiny flecks of charcoal.
Sushi by Bou Suite 1001 is the third Sushi by Bou location in New York City. The others are at the Jue Lan Club and the Sanctuary Hotel. Each location offers their own speakeasy twists to guests, and the spaces at Jue Lan Club and Sanctuary Hotel offer a 12-piece, 30-minute omakase for $50.
Bouhadana’s attention to detail makes his omakase a joy to experience, from his use of bright flames to scorch a piece of fish to holding a brush ever so gently over a slice of fresh tuna to allow the house-made sauce to drip down the bristles drop by drop, creating a show before diners' eyes.
While the time may seem short, Sushi by Bou's intimate space allows diners to engage with the chef and learn more about the craft while also engaging with fellow guests.
In addition, those looking to continue their dining experience at Sushi by Bou Suite 1001 are invited to enjoy drinks after their meal at the adjacent 500-square-foot terrace, which includes lounge seating, music, and Empire State Building views. The suite also includes a sake vending machine (in lieu of the typical hotel room mini-fridge) where diners can purchase 3-oz. sake pours for $30, and a sake pairing experience with the omakase (prices are still being determined).
Sushi by Bou will also be opening a similar concept at the Versace Mansion in Miami's South Beach in February. Sushi by Bou, Gianni’s Suite, will also feature a four-seat sushi counter and a 60-minute omakase for $100.