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This self-styled “neo-bistro” opened recently in a luxury mini-mall in the backstreets of Aoyama and the reasons the food is so good will come as no surprise to anyone who has dined at Signature, the sleek French restaurant on the 37th floor of Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Under Rodriguez’s tenure as head chef (from its inception), Signature retained its Michelin star seven years running. Still in his early 40s, Rodriguez is a veteran of numerous multistarred operations, including the venerable Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence and its equally high-end Ginza outpost.