Think of MakiMaki as somewhere between a typical sit-down sushi restaurant and the grab-and-go deli case at your local lunch spot. You enter the sleek, oak-walled space resembling a traditional restaurant, but it's just a counter where you place an order and wait for it to be completed. Rolls are made-to-order, but there are no seats at which to enjoy them; this is takeout only.
Owner Kevin Takarada—whose family owns the oldest Japanese restaurant in South Beach, Miami and second oldest restaurant in the area—saw a hole in the market for quick, affordable, and high quality sushi in Midtown, where he worked for a Japanese bank. Sit-down restaurants can be too slow and too expensive for lunch; and while Duane Reade stocks inexpensive and quick sushi, it's never going to be as fresh as the stuff rolled in the moment.
The opening menu features a basic lineup of maki like spicy tuna, California and avocado (all $6 roll, $4 hand roll); salmon avocado, yellowtail scallion, and spicy crab (all $7 roll, $5 hand roll); and shrimp tempura, eel avocado, and negi toro (all $8 roll, $6 hand roll). Fancier lunch eaters can opt for spicy lobster with mayo, chili oil and cucumber ($13 roll, $9 hand roll) or a hand roll of ikura, salmon roe with shiso leaf ($8). Additions like avocado, jalapeno and tempura flakes can be added to any roll for $.50.
Teas from Hon Yama, an 800-year-old tea company, will supply four custom tea blends for MakiMaki; it's the first time the teas will be sold in New York City.
1369 6th Avenue, between 55th and 56th; 212-245-4550; makimaki.nyc
MakiMaki Opening Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd