If Nobu Matsuhisa were nothing more than a gifted sushi master, running his successful restaurant Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills and training a couple of apprentices a year, he would still be exalted in the refrigerated fish warehouses downtown. But he is not. He is the one who changed the game. And as the baron of a sushi empire that stretches from London to Peru and the inventor of a strange, new cuisine, he is perhaps the only Japanese chef in Los Angeles whose influence is felt as strongly in Japan as it is California. And it couldn't be felt more strongly here. Whenever you taste chopped chiles on sashimi or warmed oil on a sliver of fluke, that's Matsuhisa's influence at work. When you notice that one new restaurant out of three gilds its yellowtail with black truffles or its albacore with crushed garlic, that's Matsuhisa, too. His restaurant is the most influential in California since Spago. And if, when you visit, reserving far in advance and rubbing shoulders with both Robert De Niro and busloads of Japanese tourists, you notice that the famous omakase menu hasn't changed in years, that you are still going to get new-style shrimp sashimi, sashimi salad, miso-marinated cod and (if you rate it) toro tartare with caviar, you will remember to sit at the sushi bar next time and pull the best out of the chefs.
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi
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