I was struck by "bluedog"'s comments about Hashimoto. Found H's web site in Google and read Amy Pataki's review incorporated therein. It's not that AP can't be out to lunch, but she did give H five stars a couple years ago, and said that H was the first one, and bluedog did recommend H highly; if she wasn't right, she might be close. So went to lunch today with a goyshe girl. Five courses, small plates(=kaiseki), same for each of us (required),$50 each. Every shred on the plates (and a lot of it was shreds)was exquisite. We will return, even though later in the afternoon I had a mandarin orange, or at least what I got in distributing it seven ways.
Tapas, menu degustation and kaiseki are from diffrent cultures and moved by different purposes, but in the end they all are a number of small dishes which comprise a "tasting menu" which is supposed to satisfy the diner. Consequently, I propose that it is possible to compare.
I think thatI have a not bad sense of European cooking; I don't know how good H is in the Japanese tradition. Nevertheless, I would say that H makes Susur out to be an overbearing buffoon. Susur's former sous chef, now at George,is pathetic, but I do not blame hime. He learned from the wrong person, Susur Lee.
Asahi (Bathurst and Steeles, north west corner, in the plaza 905760-1294) is a Japanese ma and pa. (Korean owners, really.) $5.99 lunch specials, $3.50 (3)dumpling soup, $6.99 tempura app. including two large shrimp, etc. The husband, who cooks, spent considerable time in Japan, and had better teachers than Susur's former sous chef. I would say that`if you like Hashimoto you will like Asahi, according to its station, which inter alia requires Asahi to give you more to eat, though.
Hashimoto is at 6534 Dixie Rd., Unit 10, 905-670 5559. He has only 12 seats and a bar; reserve well in advance.