What most people know about Japanese food they could cram into a chopstick case, which isn't to say it's their fault. For a cuisine so rooted in tradition, restaurants that claim to serve it have strayed pretty far from the source material. Blame the ubiquitous strip-mall sushi joint — those nearly identical eateries slinging low-grade tuna by the caseload and farm-raised salmon the color of bad wallpaper. Or better yet, blame the California roll. If there's a more appropriate summation of a cuisine stripped of its value than a rice-smothered tube of imitation crab meat made from pulverized, colored fish paste, then... More >>>