Move over, Soup Nazi Ali "Al" Yeganeh, there's a new perfectionist who doles out stern ministrations to guests, Masa Takayama. Takayama, who has just opened the city's most expensive sushi restaurant, Masa, and smaller bar, Bar Masa, at the Time Warner Center, is profiled by Alex Witchel and it seems Takayama's "my way or the highway" approach to food is just what sniveling foodies in New York need. Takayama describes some of the early interest in Masa:

"My manager was on the phone and people called for reservation but say they don't like raw fish. I said, 'Don't give reservation. I don't want to waste my time.' When people call we ask if allergic to something, the only way to find out in beginning what kind of people they are. Sixty-eight percent of people love this kind of food. If they say, `I only eat steak,' `I only eat French,' we say please don't come."

Sure, the meals which ranges from $300 to $500 (plus $100 per person kill-fee if you cancel your reservation) are insane Alain Ducasse type prices, but that's what you get for fish flown in from Japan, plus plates and sake cups designed or made by Takayama himself. And the mere fact that people are clamoring for a reservation at Masa but don't eat sushi means that people can be idiots and no one, not the pricey sushi chef, not you, needs to stand for that. And that is why we applaud Masa Takayama.


However, unless Gothamist finds another, oh, ten thousand pennies on the street (we'll need about 50 years), we'll be shooting for a seat at Bar Masa, where sushi and sashimi tastings run a steep, but much more manageable $85.

eGullet on Masa and Bar Masa. And more NY sushi choices from Sushi NYC.