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Six p.m. heralds the end of another work day at Artless Craft Tea & Coffee, a boutique coffee shop in Tokyo’s Nakameguro neighborhood. A soundtrack of chime-like tunes plays in the background as a barista clears the counter with the slow, practiced movements of a noh theater actor.

Moments later, Sergio Meza, the wisecracking Mexico-born chef who co-founded the Bogota restaurant Villanos en Bermudas, which currently stands at No. 15 on San Pellegrino’s list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, materializes behind the bar and hands me a sake glass filled to the brim with clear liquid.

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