Had dinner at this restaurant for the first time yesterday. It's in my nabe, and I've walked by it a million times, but never before thought to go in, in large part because the storefront and decor is not very inviting. But Zagats raved, so I thought I'd give it a try.
My first impression upon walking in was not good. There was a sign on the inner door saying that the restrooms were for customers only (never a good sign), and another sign saying that the restaurant does not take Master Card or Visa. Then, the hostess reminded us upon entering that we must pay by Amex, Diners Card, or cash. Then, when we asked to sit at the sushi bar, we were reminded that the menu at the bar is limited (sushi and sashimi only, which of course is what we expected). It was as if they were trying to dissaude us from eating there, even though it wasn't late and the place was almost empty.
Having said all that, once we sat down the meal was wonderful. The service was great and the sushi outstanding. Although I wouldn't quite rank it with Yasuda or Gari, it wasn't far below. My only real complaint was that the pieces were sometimes too big -- almost Yama-esque -- although I must say that didn't detract (as it often does) from the delicacy of the flavor.
We ordered the Omikase, and had a ton of food (we each had two very large pieces of: fatty toro, eel, sweet shrimp, octopus, yellowtail, grouper, and something else that escapes me, plus a giant Toro/scallion hand roll), plus we split one small bottle of sake. The entire bill was $117 (excluding tip). I realize that isn't exactly cheap, but a comparable meal at Yasuda or Gari would be at least $75 more.
All in all, a place I strongly recommend.