Max Levy was the first non-Japanese chef to make it at New York's prestigious Sushi Yasuda. After a heralded stint at Bei in Beijing, Levy has launched his own Japanese restaurant in the Sanlitun nightlife district. Enlisting designer Sean Dix and architect Phil Dunn, Levy has transformed a former meat factory into an intimate 38-seat sushi and sake bar. In the simple yet chic interior, design touches are subtle, such as the okra-patterned dividers inspired by Erwin Hauer, in reference to the building's midcentury industrial heyday. American diner-style booths are a nod to Levy's New Orleans roots. The sushi is world class, expertly served alongside China-specific twists, such as red tofu soup instead of miso.