Tatsuya Sekiguchi didn’t aspire to be a sushi chef — in fact, he aspired not to be. Growing up in Japan where his house operated as a restaurant and his family all worked in the business, Sekiguchi wasn’t very fond of it all. But eventually, in part inspired by the untimely death of his brother and with training from his father, chef Sekiguchi embraced the art of sushi making and his families legacy; he worked to improve his skills, and made his way from Tokyo to New York, where he’s now the chef and owner of Omakase Room by Tatsu.
The fish and shellfish at Sekiguchi’s eight-seat, 500-square-foot restaurant is predominately sourced locally in addition to Japan. There’s eel from Maine, orange clam from Connecticut, flounder from Montauk, and Spanish mackerel from North Carolina. The latter is considered to have an unmemorable taste and considered an inferior fish; so Sekiguchi sought to make a good use for it, by smoking it.