New York Magazine
Who Is the Tokyo Fixer?
And why does he have a new bar in Manhattan?
ANYONE FAMILIAR WITH Shinji Nohara knows that he is the Tokyo Fixer, a local tour guide of sorts in Japan. In certain circles—chefs, travel journalists—his services, for which he has been known to charge about $800 per day, are indispensable. Nohara is the guy who first showed Bourdain around. He’ll get you into the private bar where you need to know someone before you can even be served. He’ll secure reservations at the Michelin-level places, then steer you to the best late-night yakitori stall afterward.
And when New York restaurateurs Aiden Carty, Justin Hauser, and David Hess needed to find a chef for their omakase counter, Noda, it was Nohara who connected them with Shigeyuki Tsunoda. Now, the trio have opened an attached cocktail bar, and they’ve done the only sensible thing: named it after the Fixer himself. At Shinji’s (37 W. 20th St., nr. Sixth Ave.), you can enjoy a foie gras sidecar or a screwdriver riff called the Tropicana, served in a frozen, hollowed-out orange, while you admire the custom-designed labels affixed to the bottles on the back bar. Nohara, who is mellow and gracious in person, flew into town recently for the opening, whereupon he offered his reason for lending his name to such a luxurious establishment: “Since this is New York and people want the best, we tried to give them the best.” ■