The buzz: Japanese chef Keizo Seiki began Sushi Zo in Los Angeles in 2006, and it was awarded a Michelin star in 2009. After establishing a second branch in LA, he expanded to New York City with an omakase-only restaurant in 2015 that Michelin later awarded one star in its 2017 guide. This is the fourth branch so far, and the only one outside the USA. (Omakase is a sushi dinner entirely charted bythe chef.)
The decor: The low-key facade is all but the size of a door with the restaurant’s name stickered on it—literally a hole in the wall. The economic use of space indoors features a sushi bar and seating for about 10.
The food: Hokkaido-born executive chef Toshi Onishi, who used to lead the kitchen in the brand’s downtown LA branch, helms the sushi bar alongside chef Satoshi Tsuru. A meal (B7,000-8,000) spans about 20 courses, comprising appetizers, sushi and desserts. Being a sushi restaurant from LA, they don’t really stick to the traditional Edo-style sushi here. We find the Sushi Zo style lively and fun, with the use of many sauces, condiments and techniques you don’t normally find in a traditional sushi-ya. Their nigiri sushi is noticeably smaller and less densely put together than the kind we’re familiar with, and ventures into different, more adventurous flavors like the olive oil-marinated shima aji (striped horsemackerel) sushi topped with Sichuan pepper, and tai (red seabream) sushi that the chef smokes for a couple of minutes before serving. Fish comes in every day, which means currently you can expect to find seasonal specialties like ankimo (monkfish liver). After the main courses, the chef serves a plump seaweed-wrapped chopped tuna and delicious pickled radish maki before serving a box of tamago (omelet) and fruits, and whisking matcha for diners to finish the meal. They do two seatings a day and reservations are required two days in advance.
The drinks: The restaurant carries around five sake labels to pair with the meal, with prices starting from B700/200ml.
Why you should care: Omakase restaurants are dime a dozen in Bangkok at the moment (see our guide), but this one has the added incentive of Michelin approval and exciting foreign flavors. Natcha Sanguankiattichai
Get a sneak peek of the restaurant below: