My list of sushi places is suddenly one shorter: Yoshio Izumi, proprietor of hole-in-the-wall Izumi Sushi, has passed on. I've been going to Izumi for about 16 years now; it's always been my favorite best-kept secret. Izumi was never the best sushi in town, nor the most innovative, but I always liked the atmosphere of the place. With nary eight tables, there was nevertheless always at least one free. Jazz music gently played over the crackling speakers, and the walls were adorned with a crazy mishmosh of Nipponiana and American holiday décor. The sushi selection was adequate, not expansive, but Yoshio served up a few hot dishes from the salamander in back that always pleased: Heavenly broiled oysters with a lemon creme; and age-nasu, a broiled stuffed eggplant appetizer.
I'm chagrinned to admit I hadn't been to Izumi in possibly a year, and now it's too late to go back. I'll just have to find another mom-and-pop (or, in Izumi's case, just pop) hole-in-the-wall sushi joint to fill that jones.