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When Masa Takayama came to Los Angeles in the late 1970s and even­tu­ally opened

Ginza Sushi-Ko, the Ja­panese-born chef kick­started the city’s love for sushi. In 2004, with the en­cour­age­ment of Thomas Keller—who was opening Per Se in New York—Takayama left the City of An­gels for the

Big Ap­ple, soon es­tab­lish­ing one of the finest restau­rants in Amer­ica with his Miche­lin three­star Masa.

But af­ter ar­riv­ing in New York, he felt some­thing was miss­ing. He en­vi­sioned the kind of place he’d want to visit on his day off, to sip a mar­tini—ex­tra cold, with dry gin and three olives—and en­joy some of his fa­vorite com­fort foods, like a ham­burger or steak seared over a tra­di­tional Ja­panese grill called a ro­bata. So this past Novem­ber, he opened that restau­rant him­self in Tribeca: Tetsu (tet­sunyc.com).

Inside a build­ing con­structed in 1865, Takayama de­signed the restau­rant so that din­ers can see food grilling on the ro­bata, evok­ing what they’d wit­ness in a Ja­panese home. Along with sal­ads, stews, and raw fish dishes, Tetsu serves re­fined yet ac­ces­si­ble food from the grill, like chili pork-sausage skew­ers, tamarind baby back ribs, and skirt steak. —JEREMY REPANICH

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