Sam Lin, whose 10-year career includes sushi work under Japanese masters at Manhattan's Masa and 15 East, has just opened Sakana Omakase Sushi, a 12-seat BYOB specializing in the chef-directed tasting menus, at 616 S. Second St. in Queen Village.
It's the former Cedars — across the street from what was the venerable Japanese restaurant Hikaru, which closed over the summer, and just up the street from Royal Izakaya, where Jesse Ito oversees an omakase experience, complete with alcohol, at his nine-seat bar.
Sakana's light and airy atmosphere and rock/hip-hop soundtrack were inspired by Manhattan's Sushi By Bou (a quick serve) and Domodomo (a hand-roll specialist), Lin tells me.
Lin, working with a helper, offers two omakase experiences for dinner: a $58, 12-course tasting with premium fish that can be accomplished in 30 minutes, and a $120 omakase including three appetizers, a daily special fish, 17 pieces of nigiri, and a dessert.
Lunch includes a $38 omakase with eight pieces of nigiri and a hand roll and a $20 "lady lunch" — a Japanese staple — including two tuna and two salmon sashimi, yellowtail ceviche, a salmon roll, and rock shrimp.
He also offers a la carte nigiri, hand rolls, and hot kitchen dishes, including grilled octopus, duck tacos, and wagyu beef.
Prices do seem low: During my preopening visit, one of Lin's fish vendors was overheard cautioning him that he'll make no money. Lin countered that he would succeed on the volume; he hopes to turn over counter seats rapidly.
Right now, Sakana (215-922-2149) is open for walk-ins only from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday.