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Sakamoto

t also helps that chef Ryuta Sakamoto and his team serve beautiful food with a minimal amount of fuss. What separates a good restaurant from the milieu of forgettable ones? It’s the details. Take the second dish in this seven-course lunch, which was painted with green hues: two fillets of sayori, needle-like white fish with slender beaks, were coated on one side with aonori (green laver) adding a deep flavor to this delicate swimmer. The sayori rested against a bamboo leaf artfully tied up to conceal a delightful parcel: sweetened prawn and mashed satoimo (taro root) lightly favored with vinegar. Emerald fava beans were also added to the presentation. Too much green? Not when it was put together like this. Two meat dishes — in the broadest sense — followed: sashimi of squid and tuna seared tataki-style, a well-thought out contrast with the squid that dissolved much like sugar dissolves in water. The beef dish was a surprise because it’s not often seen in kaiseki (traditional multicourse) cooking. It’s a pity because here the beef slices were given a quick searing and served with avocado and a honey-mustard relish — a simple and welcome reprieve from the dogma of kaiseki.