Japanese has never been considered one of the world's greatest cuisines. It borrows extensively from other traditions (tempura from Portugal, ramen from China, yakiniku from Korea, fried chicken from us), yet these borrowings seem unassimilated, making the canon feel like a loose collection of regional specialties and dishes from elsewhere. Exacerbating this impression is the Japanese habit of isolating each dish in its own separate eatery. Thus the current onrush of gigantic, expensive, and innovative Japanese restaurants has taken New York by surprise. In the vacuum left by the departure of French as the city's haute cuisine, Japanese—rather than Italian or Chinese—has jumped into the breach. Now when it's time to blow a wad of cash, you're likely to find yourself in hulking places like Morimoto, Matsui, and Megu. Or so their... More >>>