If you’re a true fishhound, take note: Ju-ni is for you. The sushi restaurant has opened in NoPa with just one thing on the menu: a $85 12-course omakase, or chef’s choice, of nigiri. Set in the former Candybar space, co-owner and general manager Tan Truong and his partner and executive chef Geoffrey Lee (Sushi Ran, Akiko's) wanted to keep other dishes off the menu. "We’re looking at it from the fish standpoint; how they do it in Japan," Truong told Eater. "If you’re going for sushi, you’re getting sushi and not a bunch of other stuff that you didn’t necessarily go out for."
To execute that concept, Lee will be "leading diners through that whole experience," Truong explained. "The diner doesn’t really have to choose anything. They just sit down and he guides them through the progression of the meal." Since Ju-ni means 12 in Japanese, there will be 12 courses that will change seasonally and with the availability of fish, which is flown in twice a week from Tokyo. Drinks are sake and wine selected by Gary Danko sommelier Justin Chin, and Truong’s wife Cathleen Li (Oui Oui! Macaron) is creating a traditional Japanese dessert menu.
The space is sparse, and the sushi bar does not display the fish as in most sushi restaurants — Truong and Lee wanted to keep the focus on the experience. "The bar is designed to be three separate stations, with each station having its own chef. We want to focus on the face-to-face experience and direct interaction, being able to ask questions and learn about the fish and the technique," Truong explained. To that end, it was important to the duo to hire not only experienced sushi chefs, but also personable ones.
Ju-ni is now open six days a week (closed Sundays) with two seatings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., though hours and seating times may change.