Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Once upon a time, there was a rabbinic sage, whose name I forget. Using a hebrew phrase I also forget, he told his adherents that it was wrong to express disgust toward nonkosher food.

He advised them instead to say, "I want it! I want it! But the Holy One has declared it off-limits."

This public service message was inspired by Masa, New York City's newest four-star restaurant.

Money quote from the today's review in the New York Time
I could reach deep into a heady broth of adjectives to describe the magic of the sushi at Masa. I could pull up every workable synonym for delicious. Or I could do this: tell you about watching a friend bite into one of Masa's toro-stuffed maki rolls.

His eyes grew instantly bigger as his lips twitched into a coyly restrained grin. Then the full taste of the toro, which is the buttery belly of a bluefin tuna, took visible hold. Forget restraint: he was suddenly smiling as widely as a person with a mouthful of food and a modicum of manners can. His eyes even rolled slightly backward.

This play of emotion mirrored my own toro-induced bliss. It also explains why Masa, despite its chosen peculiarities and pitiless expense, belongs in the thinly populated pantheon of New York's most stellar restaurants. Simply put, Masa engineers discrete moments of pure elation that few if any other restaurants can match. If you appreciate sushi, Masa will take you to the frontier of how expansively good a single (and singular) bite of it can make you feel.
Move over Daniel. You're no longer my first stop after I'm reincarnated as a non-Jew.