Hannyatou, chef Mutsoka Soma's follow-up to her wildly popular soba restaurant Kamonegi next door, has the trappings of a sake bar—a long list of expertly curated sakes, a 20-seat dining room that's 21 and over, an apropos name ("hannyatou" translates to "wisdom water," an old euphemism that Japanese monks supposedly used for sake). But food intentionally plays as big a role as sake. Hannyatou is like a research facility for small plates of Soma's wildest ideas, which won her a spot on Food & Wine's list of best new chefs of 2019. Soma excels at combining her obsessive attention to craft with her wild imagination. Eater's Bill Addison mentioned her "unorthodox but brilliant combinations" when he named Kamonegi among the 18 best new restaurants in America. The menu at Hannyatou includes seafood dishes like Hama Hama oysters served with homemade vinaigrettes ($2.50 each) and asparagus with sea scallops ($9), as well as some of Soma's more unusual ideas: ice cream made with sake sediment ($8) and one of the strangest things I have ever eaten—the fermented remnants of a jalapeño cheese bagel that was turned into miso. LESTER BLACK
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