After a few weeks of invite-only dinner service and a heavily-trafficked social media contest for followers to score a sneak preview, New Orleans’s much-awaited new omakase sushi restaurant, Nagomi, debuts in the Bywater Wednesday, February 12. Nagomi markets itself as New Orleans’s first omakase sushi bar, a term that refers to a Japanese dining style in which customers entrust the ingredients of their meal to the sushi chef.
Nagomi announced the opening on Facebook yesterday (February 11), going live on Resy at the same time. Shortly after, all seats in the tiny space were booked through early March; as far as was made available on the platform. The post notes that reservations can only be made through Resy, so Eater’s recommended move of calling and connecting with a human for a hard-to-get table is sadly not applicable here.
The 12-seat Nagomi at 3214 Burgundy Street is the result of a partnership between sushi chef Kazuyuki “Kaz” Ishikawa, his longtime partner-in-sushi Eli Ramos, and local restaurateur Billy Blatty. Blatty owns downtown bro-cade Barcadia, newish Italian restaurant Sofia, and has his eye on the lot around the corner from Nagomi for a new bar and restaurant, plans that some neighbors on the residential block oppose.
Chef Kaz, a Tokyo native, gained a loyal fan base with unexpected, elevated creations while manning the sushi bar at longtime Metairie sushi spot Shogun, and later through his wildly popular omakase pop-ups around town. Plans for Nagomi began taking shape last spring.
While omakase, the pair want dinner here to be approachable in both price and style, with meals starting at $65 and going up from there. Nagomi will have two seatings per night, and chef Kaz says he hopes to get direction from diners on what they’re seeking that night — whether it be straight sushi or fusion.
Nagomi has held invite-only friends and family nights in recent weeks, and had seatings two weekends ago (January 30 to February 2) for a small number of Facebook followers. Spaces were awarded to a select few who tagged their friends on the post first, with owners saying they wanted to “test our social media reach.” The post racked up 667 comments.
Nagomi will be open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday for two seatings a night, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
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