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Restaurant Review: Sushi Nakazawa in New York City

Daisuke Nakazawa, Alessandro Borgognone
Daisuke Nakazawa, Alessandro Borgognone
Photos: Nick Solares

If you frequent restaurants that require those increasingly rare commodities known as "reservations," it's likely you've mastered an urban skill as difficult and in demand as computer coding. That skill is punctuality. Arriving on time in New York, after all, isn't so much a passive courtesy as it is a stressful, chess-like effort in self-mobility.

And because dinner often begins simultaneously for everyone at chef's table restaurants like Brooklyn Fare or Blanca, I like to think of being on time an act of personal sacrifice for the collective good. Not that anyone's waiting; show up late and the meal will (justifiably) have started without you. The key, however, is that the enforcement of punctuality shouldn't come at the expense of making people happy. This is the hospitality industry, after all. And that brings us to the case of Nakazawa, an excellent sushi spot that might have fallen on the wrong side of that equation, at least on a recent visit when I was running behind.

Custom dictates that guests arrive at any given restaurant within 15 minutes of a reservation; yet within those first 15 minutes, Nakazawa staffers (and the chef) asked my dining companion about my whereabouts three times. Only after a second location-based query was she offered what most level-headed waiters offer guests when they arrive: a beverage that isn't water. I apologize for my tardiness — due to a duo of broken Citi Bike docks — but really, a restaurant's job is to make a guest feel comfortable — never the opposite.

Some might call this nitpicking. >>

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