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Why doesn't Daikanyama in Lexington get more love here?

Chris VR | Feb 23, 201507:00 AM

We had a really excellent meal there this weekend, and looking through past posts here, it doesn't get much attention. Maybe because their other location is in Bloomingdale's in Newton, and the whole "restaurant in a upscale clothing store" thing feels a bit too precious and contrived? Or because their prices are not modest? Maybe it's because their menu is overwhelmingly large, including the tablet they bring you with another 25 or so additions to the already large menu?

We tried a variety of items this weekend at the Lexington location, some from the specials menu, some from the regular menu. Standouts were:

Asari Mushroom Soup, with a rich, savory clear mushroom broth in a bowl brimming with a few different mushrooms, mostly enoki.

Kimchi Tuna Yamakake: lovely presentation and although the delicate taste of the tuna was a bit lost in the spicy kimchi, the yamakake added a really intriguing textural element. I realized that I need to seek out more dishes highlighting yamakake.

Ume-Shiso Suzuki Nigiri: I am absolutely in love with the flavor of ume & shiso together to start with so I was pre-inclined to love this anyway, but the light and fresh taste of the sea bass was such a perfect complement to the other flavors.

Agedashi Tofu: cubes of tofu with a light texture are coated in what seemed to be tempura crumbs, and served with a small amount of flavorful fish broth, with shreds of tempura(?) over the top. I've had this once before but it didn't really grab me, but this dish will be a must-have for me now.

A few other things were solidly good (unagi nigiri, Daikanyama maki and Fuji mountain maki) but nothing spectacular. I was disappointed with the Hamachi Kama. I've had it a few times and it's usually a favorite but the one we were served was unpleasantly fishy in a quite a few spots. I think also when I first tired it and loved it, it was glazed with a ponzu sauce (?) which this didn't have.

Although the prices felt high, we had all of that, plus a bottle of Asian Pear sake and the pre-tip total came out to $122, which didn't seem out of line considering the quality and thoughtful presentation of the dishes. We've had takeout before which was fine, but that's not a great way to really judge any restaurant, so I'm glad we went in for a meal, and will definitely return.

Daikanyama Japanese Restaurant,
Fuji at Kendall,
Fuji at Assembly
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