Kihachi - Columbus OH
Executive Summary: If you really really appreciate japanese food, this place was amazing and worth every single cent.
I saw this place on an episode of Bourdain's No Reservations. It looked really interesting. I happend to be in Columbus this week and made reservations about 3 weeks ago. We sat at the bar and had Omakase (sp?) or as I like to think of it, we threw ourselves and our credit card on the mercy of the chef.
I've never had Japanese food cooked at this level anywhere in the USA. It's not really a sushi restaurant, although they serve sushi and sashimi.
If I recall correctly, we had about 8 or 9 courses spread out over 2.5 hrs. We had eggplant with bonito flakes, pork cheek, seaweed salad, a veggie and shrimp plate, a bowl of miso-type soup with pork belly and mushrooms and vegetables, a sashimi selection including toro, a couple of other great tasting fish pieces and the most amazing and delicious uni I've ever had, a twice-fried whole fish, a plate of shaved rare-cooked cold beef (I don't know the names of what we ate), a bowl of cold soba and it was delicous.
If you aren't in the mood to savor it and talk with your dinner companions for 10-15 minutes between courses, if you are in a hurry to get somewhere after dinner, or if you expect obsequious sycophantic fawning servants, you will be disappointed and you're better off going somewhere else.
I guess technically it is in Dublin OH, a $40 cab ride north and west of Columbus.
I'd go for the big splurge once a year and I'd go every couple months for more modest meals like Ramen or Udon or Soba and a bit of sushi.