A 10-SEAT RESTAURANT in a Tokyo subway is the unlikely home base of Jiro Ono, widely known as the world's best sushi chef. The humble location of Sukiyabashi Jiro belies its prestige: It has three Michelin stars, and the prix-fixe, sushi-only meals start at $300 and need to be reserved a month or more in advance.
David Gelb's worshipful portrait of Ono, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, paints a picture of extreme fastidiousness. Abandoned by his father when he was less than 10 years old, Ono began his career before puberty. His devotion to the craft of sushi is intimidating (and in questionable health), each detail of which is practiced to perfection. His long-suffering cooks and apprentices are put through a training regimen to rival that of the Navy SEALs, beginning with learning how to "properly" wring out a scalding hot towel.
When Gelb isn't filming food porn—and there are plenty of rapturous shots of glistening fish set to Philip Glass—he also portrays Ono as a father, albeit one his sons barely recognized until they were old enough to join him at the restaurant. Clearly in awe of its subject, Gelb's tidy portrait is blowhard-y at times, but will whet your appetite for both raw fish and work/life balance.