Review excerpt: Iwasaki has retained a Michelin star every year since 2012, and last month Tabelog, the restaurant listing and reviews website, included it in its list of Japan’s best restaurants, but neither the accolades nor the anniversary were being celebrated. Modesty was to ...

Review excerpt: The food at Asai Togei is kaiseki ryōri (traditional multi-course meal), which is typically formal and adheres to strict rules, but under chef Togei’s Okinawan influence the meal becomes deeply comforting.

Review excerpt: Zeshin follows close to the traditional strictures of kaiseki, but colors outside the lines a little. Nothing chef Sekine serves at Zeshin is shocking, but there are certain surprises and skills on display. His prawn stuffed with cream cheese, and Spanish mackerel ...

Review excerpt: Opened in 2014, the restaurant is nearly as long as it is narrow. Its counter seats six, and is angled parallel to the street. Behind the counter, in the narrowest of kitchens, Moriwaki and his staff of two move wordlessly as the ...

Review excerpt: Lunch opened with a tapas-like offering that included temaki uni, a little glob of urchin atop a small sheet of seaweed. The combination of the iodine-rich urchin and the briny nori was superb. As with all self-respecting kaiseki chefs, the team at ...

Review excerpt: Sara's hassun is an appetizer plate that typically combines various seasonal ingredients. Chefs often try to outdo each other in the presentation of this dish, often clearing entire forests in their efforts to foliate the dish. But Koji Hayashi, the chef and ...

Review excerpt: Chef Kakoiyama is jovial and enterprising. He also has that sixth sense of knowing when conversation is warranted, and when it’s excessive. Interactions with him usually involve him helping you decipher a dish — like an artist called on to explain some ...

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 ...

The lunchtime menu is limited. Besides the bento, there are usually only a few other choices: typically a donburi (rice bowl) served with tempura or chicken and egg. At night the menu is far more generous, with as many options as any good izakaya ...

There was a lag in waiting for it — lunch here takes about 90 minutes — but, just as in Sasaki, each customer or group is presented with their own pot of rice. The ingredients were an ode to the season: slivers of gobo ...

Although Yamaguchi’s lunch menu is anchored to the principles of kaiseki ryōri (traditional multicourse cuisine) he isn’t averse to adapting the rules and changing things, analogous to the frequent updates tech companies send our way. However, Yamaguchi’s changes — the layer of ume (plum) ...

Hiraoka has been preparing simple, traditional Japanese food here since he opened Rikichi more than 30 years ago. And yes, he has a Michelin star, but that’s not the apex of his achievements. Hiraoka is a national bowling champion, and has a handful of ...

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