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Best Late-Night Dining

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Like other singly named divas, Seki Shi — the force behind venerated Upper East Side gem Sushi Seki and its younger Chelsea offshoot — pursued a career that has thrust him under the spotlight. Or at least recessed ones, which illuminate the blond-wood bars that showcase his ornamental, experimental creations: supple fluke wrapped in shiso leaf and fried tempura-style; chopped fatty tuna with pickled daikon radish; and a take on NYC bagels and lox, a piece of fresh salmon topped with a blowtorched tomato, hiding piquant onion sauce. His restaurants stay open late into the night (cutoff is 1 a.m. downtown, 2:30 at the flagship), meaning that when those nigiri cravings hit hard after an eventful evening, salvation is just a cab ride away. Hit up the original and you might run into food-world personalities like Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Anthony Bourdain, though it’s more likely you’ll devour your omakase in the presence of wealthy neighborhood high-schoolers and -rollers, for whom the maritime splurge is merely a midnight snack. Beyond nigiri, don’t miss Seki’s legendary spicy scallop hand roll, with its crisp wrapping of nori and a symphonic, Americanized mix of chopped bivalve, spicy mayonnaise, and tempura crunch. 1143 First Avenue, Manhattan 10065, 212-371-0238, sushiseki.com

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