Cupid's arrows don't quite account for the rapturous reviews garnered by Tsuyoshi Arai in his tiny chocolate box of a restaurant. The young chef trained in French kitchens for over a decade, honing his natural genius before striking out on his own. A Michelin star later, the persnickety Lyonnais have fallen hard, waiting weeks to savor dishes that combine Japanese subtlety with rigorous French technique—like poached foie gras and creamy parsnip purée with caramelized
carrot sauce, scallops rolled in sole and smoky bacon, verbena-infused lobster consommé with caviar, and salmon tartare in a gingery court bouillon with zucchini mousse. The quirky atmosphere (hello mirrored ceilings!) and excellent-value menu only add to its allure.