Say It Ain't Zo | Sushi Zo

Put your trust in Downtown's newest temple of sushi

"Is there any seafood you can't eat?"

After that opening inquiry at Downtown's Zo, you are left solely in the hands of your itamae–a conceit that will exhilarate sushi aficionados but might unnerve less adventurous eaters.

The second branch of the revered Sushi Zo in Palms is an omakase-only sushi bar where chef Keizo Seki leads diners on a dizzying and euphoric 30-course meal ($145) filled with fish both familiar and exotic.

On our visit, we were seated at a granite countertop framed by windows looking onto the intersection of 4th and Main Street. From our perch, we enjoyed a parade of ultra-traditional nigiri: Long, draping slices of fish–from Japanese seabream to golden-eyed snapper–are glued to a tiny pillbox of warm rice with a pin's head of wasabi, then glazed with a brush of soy sauce, a sprinkle of truffle salt or a dab of pickled shishito peppers.

Chef Keizo Seki

"Balance is very important. There's an ideal ratio of rice and sauce that supports the fish, but doesn't overshadow it," explains Seki.

From salmon that melts like a pat of butter on your tongue to lengths of squid sliced into noodles and tossed with sweet sea urchin, every bite at Zo is masterfully calibrated for maximum enjoyment.

At his Palms location, Seki was infamous for his intimidating demeanor. At his new outpost he was all smiles.

Maybe that's what happens when you achieve perfect balance.