When world-renowned sushi chef Masa Takayama arrived in New York, he came offering the most expensive dining experience in the city’s history: $300 per person for his cheapest tasting menu, not including tax, wine or sake, or the mandatory 20 percent gratuity. To be clear, Takayama doesn’t overcharge for his meals: He overspends, and the mystique of it all—his exquisite materials, his rare ingredients and his labor-intensive techniques—can be lost on a diner who doesn’t know that the top-grade matsutake mushrooms, used in a small kettle of soup and again on a piece of sushi, cost around $50 a pound. Takayama doesn’t distract diners from the meal: The space is windowless and virtually colorless, and the tables are bare. The effect is that of eating in a temple. Takayama prepares each perfect bite-size gift, then places it in front of you on a round slate; you almost eat out of his hands, and the sushi seems to melt in your mouth. This process is, to some serious food lovers, a priceless experience.
Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle
|Cross street:||at 60th St|
|Opening hours:||Mon, Sat 6–9:30pm; Tue–Fri noon–1:30pm, 6–9:30pm|
|Transport:||Subway: A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th St–Columbus Circle|
|Price:||Average omakase: $400. AmEx, MC, V|