I flew across the world for one meal.
I flew from Los Angeles, California to Tokyo, Japan for a total of 5,451 miles for one perfect meal. It wasn’t a long, drawn out meal that lasted hours. This meal lasted for 25 minutes and it was in the basement of a subway station. Two plane tickets, two hungry adults, and one legendary meal of a lifetime at Sukiyabashi Jiro. For those of you that have been living under a culinary rock, this is the restaurant from the film, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.“
While the food was by far the best of my life, it was the entire experience that made it the best experience.
There is a reason why Anthony Bourdain requested a meal at this restaurant as his dying wish. Jiro has been making sushi for over 70 years, barely ever taking a day off. He has dedicated his life to his love of sushi, creating a meal where you can actually taste the passion. When you dine at Jiro, you’re not just eating dinner; you’re watching an artist at work. From the delicate way he dances the sushi onto his hand to the way he lightly paints the wasabi onto the fresh fish to the way he effortlessly molds the vinegar rice to make the impeccable nigiri, his focus and love are evident in every practiced move.
I’ve had great meals before, but I’ve never been in the presence of an artist whose genius and love for the craft was so palpable.
Perhaps his passion was contagious or maybe it was the flavors of the fresh fish or a combination of both, but the entire meal was an emotional experience, so much so that it moved me to tears.
“The entire meal was a symphony played on my taste buds with Jiro as the maestro orchestrating an evolution of epicurean notes. Throughout the 20-course omakase (a meal designed by the chef) menu, Jiro elevates the emotion of the meal in an ebb and flow of flavors.”
Our meal started with a flat fish, then moved onto squid, tuna, semi fatty tuna (a personal favorite), and fatty tuna. The meal then abates, but doesn’t disappoint with gizzard shad and abalone, before picking up with the powerful taste of Jack Mackerel. The menu then turns to fresh boiled prawn, a delicious needle fish (the surprise of the night), ark shell, vinegared jack mackerel, sweet clamshell, and delicious mackerel. For the finale of the menu, Jiro service sea urchin, baby scallops, salmon roe, sea eel, and egg. All of this was washed down with delicious rare sake.
When the meal was finished, we were escorted to a nearby booth to enjoy warm green tea and the most magnificent melon we have ever eaten. Full of flavor and juiciness, it was the perfect conclusion to the meal.
How To Get A Reservation
Sukiyabashi Jiro takes reservations one month out. It is recommended to make a reservation on the first of the month for the following month. For example, a reservation for any day in April should be requested on March 1. Additionally, a native Japanese speaker needs to make the reservation. Thus, we recommend making a reservation at a luxury hotel and having their concierge make the reservation for you. It’s important to note that American Express and other credit card concierge services are not allowed to make reservations at Jiro.
Located in the basement of Ginza station, Sukiyabashi Jiro is understated and modest in everything but its flavors. The 10 seat restaurant The 91-year old Jiro and his son, Yoshikazu take what is thought to be a simple ingredient and transform them into the ultimate umami.
What To Expect
•No pictures are allowed in the restaurant, not even with your iPhone. You may ask for a photo with Jiro at the end of the meal.
•You can drink sake, beer, water, or green tea.
•It is requested that no diners wear perfume or cologne to take away from the taste of the meal.
•If you want to be served by Jiro, it is recommended to arrive early for your reservation.
•The meal will last between 25 and 30 minutes. This is not a sit around and chat type of meal. It’s all about the food.
•The cost of the meal starts at 32,000 yen, which equates to around $300 per person.