Kwang Kim isn't the only sushi star making moves today: Nick Kim, who was head chef at Masa, and Jimmy Lau, executive chef at Bar Masa in New York and L.A., are planning to open their own restaurant next month at 61 West 8th Street. The new place, called Neta, will have a 20-seat maple sushi counter running down the middle, and 22 seats on the floor.
"There will be an open kitchen and no walls, so it will be like one big chef's table,'' says Kim, who came from L.A. with Masayoshi Takayama to open Masa at the Time Warner Center and worked as his right hand for seven years. Richard Bloch, the architect behind Masa, will also be designing Neta. There will be a $95 omakase menu and small plate à la carte items ranging from $8 to $15. Among the planned menu items are multiple varieties of chawan mushi — one with Dungeness crab, fresh water chestnuts and wild parsley; another with quail, quail eggs and truffles. As Kim explains, "We will have Japanese cuisine using local ingredients."