Sushi: It's On a Roll

The chef hunkers over a circular cutting board, pushing a few small, rosy slices of raw lamb into a pile. Then Wayne Nish begins to chop until he's left with a mound of lamb tartar, which he molds into the shape of a bonbon and arranges on a square white plate, alongside an identical mound of tuna tartar. Between them he dribbles a cascade of osetra caviar, tiny shimmering globules the color of wet seaweed. Aside from a delicate sprig of cilantro, nothing else is on the plate.

None of the ingredients is discernibly Japanese. And few customers would guess that the...

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