Well I finally went back to Ushi Wakamaru, perhaps my overall favorite sushi bar. Knowing it would be crowded I made a reservation for the first time specifying that I wanted to sit in front of Hiedeosan for an omakase. The place is is much nicer than it was losing a little bit of the former grungy charm including the mystery of the fish tanks that used to be in front. The sushi bar has been extended and more tables have been added. Sure enough, despite being totally full the primo spot at the bar in front of chef Hideo was reserved...for me! He said it had been a long time since he'd seen me and I said it was too long. He confirmed that he had been closed for 3 months and two weeks. (I was counting). The sashimi course was great. The traditional Ushi Wakamaru starter of tako was delicious (though not as good as 15 East's). The aji was excellent, the sayori great with freshly grated ginger and scallions, the otoro perfect. As a special he served a bowl of shir-uo (ice fish) sashimi which look like little glass noodles with black eyes. The uni was delectable. The red snapper sushi was fantastic and the kani (alaskan king crab) sushi was the best I've had. Unfortunately I made the mistake of drinking a large bottle of sake to start and then tried to keep pace with Hideosan drinking huge ice frosted mugs of sapporo and buying the chef one for each of mine. Hideo throws them back in one gulp. The rest of the evening became somewhat blurred. More uni sushi. The couple next to me enjoyed a bowl of hot snapping turtle soup over a beautiful hibachi.The shira ebi was beautiful, the ikura serene and the anago was slightly blowtorched rather than the usual overcooking in other sushi bars in a toaster oven. I was thankful that they ran out of tomago (which is homemade and delicious) as I was already full and staggering. I vaguely remember nodding goodnight and didn't even touch my tea. Welcome back.