Putting the Ace in Aoyama
L'AS Minami Aoyama
There’s simple, there’s simplistic and then there’s downright spare, and at L’AS where the latter is true in spades, you would be forgiven for thinking there’s something almost remiss – from the open-plan, pared-back eatelier (you’re basically sitting in the kitchen) to the 26 seats, blond wood tables with no cutlery and gracefully relaxed service, everything appears effortless and informal. But as we all know, simplicity can be very complicated and it takes a true master to pull it off.
Chef Daisuke Kaneko’s stints at luminary venues like Alain Senderens in Paris and Osaka’s La Becasse have resulted in his 7-course prix fixe dinner or weekend lunch, which changes every two weeks and is designed entirely around market availability and seasonality.
There’s salt-crust lamb, signature foie gras ‘sandwich’ and autumnal rabbit roulade, but don’t be surprised if the chefs themselves serve the dishes to you (shades of Noma), in fact, it’s the perfect chance to ask questions and learn about the ingredients.
With 7 courses coming in at around US$70, it’s little wonder Tokyo foodies have been clamouring to get in the door. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the name is ‘laahs’ as in French for ‘ace’, rather than lays which is American for potato chip – and your cutlery is hidden in a little drawer cunningly built into your table. Ace indeed!