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Restaurants & Bars 12

"Authentic" cuisine (somewhat philosophical question)

Bradbury | Nov 16, 200110:12 AM

In the Crazy Fish thread below, the general consensus seems to be that the place is overrated and inexplicably popular, considering that it's less of an authentic sushi bar than a "wacky rolls" kind of place. This sort of authenticity critique pops up in a number of other threads as well.

So I guess my broader question is: is authenticity really necessary? If a place makes really good firecracker rolls, Beverly Hills rolls, etc. from fresh ingredients, at a decent price and with a friendly attitude, is it necessarily a problem if it isn't exactly the stuff you'd find in Japan?

It seems to me that as long as a restaurant doesn't CLAIM to have a particularly authentic cuisine, it can't really be faulted for lacking it, as long as it does well at whatever it is that it actually does. For example, Shiro never claimed to be authentic Japanese OR authentic French ... or for another example, there are lots of Tex-Mex restaurants in the Southwest that are really good despite serving nothing that could be called true Mexican cuisine.

Any thoughts on this?

(NB: I've never been to Crazy Fish, so I have no idea if it's good or not; I'm just using the thread as a general example.)

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