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Trend - Turning Tapanese | Japanese tapas

When most Westerners think of meals made up of lots of small plates, they think tapas. But there's actually a long tradition of grazing in Japan. The Japanese call it ippin ryori ("one-dish cuisine") or otsumami ("snacks"). Like many Japanese eating styles before it—from sushi to teppanyaki to kaiseki—the Japanese version of tapas is making its way west. And it's coming with a catchy label: "tapanese."

At Los Angeles's Mako, chef and owner Mako Tanaka's tapanese offerings include scallops with baked uni (sea urchin) and foie gras with lychee fruit; at Loggia at the Highlands in Hollywood, chef Fred Iwasaki serves tapas-style dishes like lobster dumplings with green-tea dashi; in London, Zuma chef Rainer Becker's soybeans stir-fried with chiles are designed to be shared.

—Mitchell Davis

Published November 2002


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