Newly-opened next to his flagship Rakiraki Ramen, Pokirrito, and Angels & Hearts Creperie on Convoy is the latest creative endeavor from chef/owner Junya Watanabe. Watanabe, who is a partner in a sushi bar in Japan, has launched j/wata Temaki Bar, which is dedicated to serving temaki, or sushi hand rolls.
The 1,500-square-foot space holds 22 seats around a central sushi bar that is flanked by a colorful mural by Erwin Papa, an illustrator, sculptor, and toy designer, whose work for restaurant was inspired by Harajuku, a district in Tokyo known for its street fashion and youth culture.
With the goal of maintaining optimum freshness, the restaurant’s chefs will assemble each hand roll to order so diners can enjoy each one at its peak. The rolls are based on carefully-chosen ingredients, starting with a special three vinegar-seasoned sushi rice cooked in small batches, high grade soy sauce, and specially-sourced seaweed that’s toasted over an open flame for the ideal crunch and texture. Hand roll fillings range from spicy salmon and bay scallop to premium ingredients including Maine lobster, wagyu beef, negi toro, and blue crab. Beer, wine, and sake are also available.
The restaurant is currently operating from 5 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends but starting next week, will extend its hours to open at 11 a.m. every day.