Restaurant News

Did a Michelin-Starred Chef Just Open a Sushi Restaurant on Washington?

Kukuri opens tonight next door to Tacodeli.
Kukuri opens tonight next door to Tacodeli. Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp
Did a Michelin-starred chef just open a sushi restaurant on Washington?

Well, kind of. Shimao Ishikawa, a sushi chef who made a name for himself at Manhattan's Michelin-starred sushi bar Jewel Bako, has reportedly brought a new Japanese restaurant, Kukuri, to 1902 Washington. It's in the same development as Tacodeli and Platypus Brewing, and it opens this evening, August 11, according to Eater Houston.

Ishikawa has more than 40 years of experience as a sushi chef and apparently is not the biggest fan of salmon. While Jewel Bako is Michelin-starred, as Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin Guide, explained to the Houston Press back in April, only restaurants — not chefs — can receive the stars:  

If a chef leaves and goes to another restaurant, that restaurant does not immediately become ‘Michelin-starred.’ What we do see, however, is the title of ‘Michelin-starred chef’ follow a chef to new ventures — though it is important to note that the restaurant does not earn that distinction.

According to its Facebook page, Kukuri celebrated its soft opening on Thursday, August 10, and as for what's in store, it remains a pretty big mystery. It appears that the chef's omakase is a cool $150. No menu is available online, just the following via its official website:

In addition to the freshest fish, our establishment offers a selection of in-season delicacies, including meats and vegetables. Please come enjoy our ever-changing seasonal menu and experience the unique Japanese form of hospitality known as OMOTENASHI

Kukuri, 1902 Washington, Suite C
Hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, 5:30 to 11:30 p.m.

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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.