The West Village has dozens of sushi restaurants ranging from “not the best but cheap” to “amazing but overpriced”. The relatively few places that divide the difference are the best of all.
Sushi 456 quietly opened on Hudson Street in the old Takashi space last August. He has no known public relations or apparent email address, and his social media presence is limited. It is, however, a more refined place than its similar analog contemporaries.
Function-over-communication-convenience operations like this often seem to fit together with a wish and the kick of a kiss, but Sushi 456 is all lean lines and shiny surfaces, with a large chef’s counter in pale wood surrounded by a few more tables and chairs and tall, wide windows that face the sidewalk.
The airy restaurant quickly developed word of mouth that drew in crowds in early fall, which led to its own caveat: chefs pre-cut fish throughout the day rather than ordering. They were so busy at first, I’m told, that all this slicing down to the minute leads to untenable waiting times. But, aside from the deep desire of some knife theater guests, few casual consumers will detect a difference from seafood sliced on the spot.
The fish from Sushi 456 is flown from Tokyo’s Toyosu market and sometimes from American vendors a few times a week before being expertly shaped into hiram blossoms, bluefin tuna rectangles deployed like a three-card poker hand, in thick squares of royal salmon and small cups of cucumber bursting with plain butter or crimson ikura pearls.
Many are available a la carte for $ 4 (tamago) to $ 14 (uni Japanese). Sets like a beautifully served five-piece sashimi lunch are available for $ 35 in the afternoon, when the understated space is a nice, peaceful place to have lunch on your own.
Crowds thicken in the evening for Sushi 456’s 15-piece omakase. It’s one of the latest additions in town priced at $ 100, and it also comes with a hand roller. Rather than the typical piece-by-piece presentation, it comes in two groups which might include the above, plus sea trout, eel, and Wagyu aburi.
The atmosphere: Casual, rrelaxing and quick at lunch, busier in the evening and inviting all the time.
The food: Well-sourced sushi available a la carte, in lunch sets and in 15-piece omakase for $ 100.
The drinks: Alcohol is not yet available. Learn about BYOB’s current policy.
Sushi 456 is located at 456 Hudson Street and is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 5 to 11 p.m.