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Kagaman

Chef and owner Hiro Saka opened Kagaman more than 30 years ago. Saka has been in the food business a long time having made the climb from a ship’s galley to opening a string of restaurants in central Osaka. Kagaman, with its Michelin star, is the jewel in the crown. I went with one of the ordinary-priced lunches at just under ¥6,000. Be warned, however, the omakase courses (courses set by the chef) start at ¥15,000 for lunch and ¥20,000 for dinner. Lunch opened with white sesame tofu with a drizzle of soy sauce, one of Kagaman’s trademark dishes — indeed, a trademark of most kaiseki (multicourse) meals. As good as it was, it comes with a challenge: Can chefs update a dish like this while staying within the canon of Japanese cooking? At Kagaman, tradition holds sway.