If earning a spot in the Michelin Guide is one of the greatest honors for a restauranteur, being removed from it is the greatest fall from grace. That’s exactly what happened to the Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant in Tokyo, made famous by the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. And no, it’s not because the quality of the food or service declined; it’s because it’s simply too hoity-toity for the general public.
Indeed, the restaurant can only seat 10 guests at a time and famously caters to high-profile celebrities and politicians. Most notably, President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2014.
In a statement, a Michelin representative said, “We recognize [that] Sukiyabashi Jiro does not accept reservations from the general public, which makes it out of our scope. Michelin’s policy is to introduce restaurants where everybody can go to eat.”
The restaurant’s website even warns visitors that obtaining a reservation will probably prove difficult. “We are currently experiencing difficulties in accepting reservations,” it says, “and apologize for any inconvenience to our valued customers. However, as our restaurant can only seat up to 10 guests at a time, this situation is likely continued. Please note that we will not be able to accept telephone reservations until further notice.”
Sukiyabashi Jiro has earned three stars in the Tokyo Michelin guide every year since 2007.