If you have ever been super bored on a rainy day at home and have an affinity for Netflix documentaries than you probably know who Jiro is. If you have a super exciting life and have never experience a moment of boredom nor have never Netflix and chilled let me explain. Jiro is a 3 star michellin rated restaurant in Tokyo named after the chef and owner, Jiro Ono. 3 star ratings are considered the most elite and only a few restaurants in the world enjoy such rating however when Jiro Ono starred in a Netflix documentary about his mastery of sushi, his fame took off even more.
Getting a reservation at Jiro might seem easy if your name is Ethan Hunt but for the other 8 billion people on the planet it’s a bit harder. They don’t accept reservations by phone or email nor do they do so via opentable or any other online service. In fact the good concierge folks at American Express that have worked magic for me in the past at elite venues aren’t able to help you here. No, to get a reservation you need to be staying at a high end hotel in Tokyo and the hotel concierge will have to make arrangements for you if your lucky enough.
Having a Japanese sounding name may help you as it’s noted that Jiro Ono doesn’t like foreigners and he doesn’t like serving foreigners. Unfortunately due to his Netflix fame he draws a lot of selfie stick toting tourists affluent enough to cough up $300 for a few bites of delicate sushi. Seen the soup nazi episode of Seinfeld? Well If you dug a hole in the soup nazis restaurant and went all the way to come up in the other side of the globe you’de be in Jiros restaurant, oh wait, that’s China. You get the point!
So the question begs, why pay $300 for sushi at a place that doesn’t want you there in the first place? The last time I was in Tokyo I had the pleasure to dine at Yasuda, the famed sushi chef that ditched his restaurants in New York to return home to Tokyo and open a tiny world renowned Sushi restaurant were the only workers are him and his wife. He too received a spark of fame when he was featured on Anthony Bourdaines CNN show Parts Unknown so I had to request my reservation 3 months in adavance and glad I did. The sushi was indescribable and the chef himself was accommodating, funny and easy going. The opposite of Jiro Ono.
I tend to like to give my money to people that appreciate my patronage or at least do a good job of acting like it therefore on my Tokyo trip next month I’m going to skip the allure of the old sushi master and instead treat my palates elsewhere. There is another sushi chef in Tokyo with a 3 star michellin rating that hasn’t been struck by enough selfie sticks yet to hate foriegners (jus give him time).
Sushi Yoshitake doesn’t have a Netflix documentary but many would argue that the chef and owner Masahiro Yoshitake is the best sushi master in the world hence I submitted a reservation request to the 7 seat restaurant so I can part with my $300 in exchange for sushi bliss and a selfie 🙂