President Obama Dines at Jiro Dreams of Sushi Restaurant

Originally posted 04/23/2014 05:35PM

President Obama Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Carolyn Kaster/AP

One of the perks of being the President of the United States: You don’t need a reservation to get into a hot Tokyo restaurant where the waiting list is two months.

Shortly after arriving in Japan’s capital on Wednesday for a state visit with Shinzo Abe, the country’s prime minister, President Obama made a beeline for Sukiyabashi Jiro, reports ABC. The tiny sushi bar gained worldwide fame after being featured in 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

While the White House didn’t reveal what the president ate, typical menu offerings include flatfish, squid, yellowtail tuna, mackerel and octopus. And though the 10-seat shop is located in a basement attached to the Ginza metro station, prices rival upscale establishments: Lunch runs about $230 per person while the 19-piece chef’s selection comes in at just less than $300.

The president had plenty of company, including Abe, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

The eatery’s 89-year-old owner and master chef, Jiro Ono — the world’s only sushi chef to receive a rare three stars from Michelin — became an overnight sensation after the doc’s debut.

“I’ll continue my climb, trying to reach the top, but no one knows where the top is!” says the hard-working octogenarian in the film.

Still, having one of the world’s most important leaders eat your raw fish has to count as a high. And President Obama seemed impressed: As he left the restaurant, he reportedly told the press, “That’s some good sushi right there.”

—Nancy Mattia

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