Shibucho

Tiny, clubby and with a knocked-about patina, Shibucho is unique. Outside it looks like a dive; inside the music tends toward the theme from The Pink Panther and the wine list toward Grand Crus. Owner Shige Kudo works alone. One look from the bristle-topped master can make you feel that you took a wrong turn on the way to grab a bite and ended up at Judgment Day. Kudo likes to steer customers to the red wine and sushi combination, and descriptions of his sushi are in fact well served by the language of wine. There is something highly extracted and powerful in his dense mackerel; a previously undiscovered complexity swirls about the halibut when it is paired with a glass of earthy Pays d’Oc. You may not actually order the $250 Chateau Palmer, but by meal’s end, when you can’t quite recognize the crooned song that’s playing, the broiled sea eel will be amplifying every tawny nuance in your glass.