When Takashi first opened in New York City, it inspired carnivores to test the limits of what they're willing to eat. The kitchen at the Japanese restaurant makes use of the entire cow, serving up nose-to-tail dishes from rib-eye steak to more esoteric plates of entrails, tongue and other forms of offal. A New York Times review that came out when the place opened six years ago raved about the boundary-pushing food: “They are simple exciting dishes; a taste of passion best consumed with cold sake and an open mind.”
A Takashi adventure begins with a cook-it-yourself option, as you sizzle your own sweetbreads or sliced tongue on an electric grill affixed to your tabletop. The escapade continues even if you leave it to the chefs to prepare the dishes that follow, which might include anything from testicargot (cow balls served escargot style with garlic shiso butter) to bone marrow-crawfish dumplings, to raw tripe with a fiery miso sauce. But there’s one dish on the current menu that might surprise even Takashi's regulars: the caviar with calf’s brain cream.
“I was inspired to make this dish because I’m crazy,” chef Takashi Inoue told The Feast. “I wanted to use (leftover) bits and parts of the cow not typically used, but didn’t want to show them in plain shape because they can look unappealing. So I came up with the idea to boil them in vegetable stock with olive oil and spices, and blend it all into a paste with butter and heavy cream. It tastes sort of like foie gras.” The dish, a riff on a traditional European and Moroccan delicacy, sounds scarier than it is, but skeptical diners will have to order it to realize that. Takashi's version is arguably worth trying for the presentation alone: The brain cream comes in a toothpaste-like tube, perfect for squeezing out and spreading onto the accompanying blinis, and topping off with luxe black caviar. Photo courtesy of Takashi.
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