Grace Choy’s kitchen is very small — about the size you’d expect in a studio apartment.

There’s enough room for Choy to walk the two or three steps from fridge to stovetop, but not much else. A humble array of premium Le Creuset cookware and high quality ovens accent the cooking area and dining room, but this is no industrial kitchen built to house a cadre of line cooks.

The layperson strolling through the backstreets of the Aobadai neighborhood of Meguro Ward might take a look through ChoyChoy Kitchen’s floor-to-ceiling window and consider it all yet another serviceable entry among Tokyo’s innumerable eateries. That would be a grave mistake — not only for the meal you’re robbing yourself of but also for the story you’re missing out on.