Don’t let the fetish bar next door to Sushi Ya confuse you. You’re in the right place. This is another tiny eight-seater in the buzzy Ginza neighborhood, so come early to snag a seat. Chef Takao Ishiyama speaks near-fluent English, which means plenty of friendly chatter as he slices and plates course after course. Sushi Ya’s main event is, of course, the fish, but the rice—so much more than filler—is just as important for the perfect bite. Ishiyama’s shari (sushi rice) strikes that perfect balance between suppai (sourness) and amai (sweetness). Each mouthful is at room temperature with a touch of vinegar to complement the fish. For a splurge, commit to the tasting menu. Locals, however, generally take over the counter at lunchtime, where up to fourteen pieces of nigiri will set you back less than fifty bucks.

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