Entrepreneurship Food Trends Pop-Ups Restaurants

This ‘Secret’ Restaurant Unites Italian and Japanese Cuisine

Pop-up restaurants are not new, and neither are speakeasies. However, I recently had a dining experience that was a bit of both mixed with a bit of “Fight Club.”

Pasta Ramen is a Wafu-Italian omakase, revealing an intricate multi-course exploration of the Wafu pasta concept that originated in the 1950s at Tokyo’s Kabenoana (meaning “hole in the wall”). Launched in Montclair, New Jersey and later setting up shop in nearby Jersey City, a chef who asks not to be identified (you remember the first rule of Fight Club) and their team presents in secret, continuously changing settings to create an unforgettable dining experience.

Noodles are the centerpiece of the aforementioned concept that brings together only the best Japanese and Italian ingredients, flavors, textures, and techniques. Cooked in an open kitchen, each course is presented by the chef as they explain the origins of the dishes, highlight ingredients, and answer questions. 

The night I attended, the menu started with Chutoro L’Acqua Pazza – prawn head brodo, lemongrass, ginger prawn, tuna belly, tuna “Owan” soup; an essential meal starter in both Italian and Japanese cultures. Other highlights included the Cacio e Pepe Gyoza, a deep-fried, hand-pinched dumpling filled with a rich cacio e pepe sauce; and the duo of A5 Dry-Aged Tsukune Yakitori, A5 wagyu, aged tsukune, shiso, dry-aged fat, enoki, aceto balsamico and yakatori.

Throughout the meal, a sake sommelier pours a selection of pairings chosen specifically for the menu. A ceramic artisan was even commissioned to create a custom set of dishes which are brought to each location. 

Upcoming Pasta Ramen locations will include New York, Miami, Philadelphia, and more. To find out more follow them on social media. Just remember, “It’s a secret society/all they ask is trust.”


Inside America’s Most Expensive Sushi Restaurant Where Meals Start at $450


For those who love sushi and also for whom money is no object, Masa is a restaurant to experience at least once.


Masa is a sushi and Japanese food restaurant located in Manhattan and is the most expensive restaurant in New York City and the most expensive sushi restaurant in the United States.


Masa is omakase-only (chef’s choice) and has no menu. An omakase dinner for one costs $450, not including tax, tips or drinks. Kobe beef costs an additional $150.


The chef behind Masa is Masayoshi Takayama, who opened the restaurant in 2004.


Masa is only one of four New York restaurants with three Michelin stars and the first Japanese restaurant in the country to have received as many.



The restaurant’s fish is imported fresh from Japan and is rarely ever frozen. “Just, the thing is my ingredients. I don’t think they have equals.” Takayama told Eater.



According to the restaurant’s website, “The food is prepared quickly, and plated for guests as soon as ready to preserve the idea that each dish is still in a living, being state.”



The restaurant is minimally and elegantly designed, with a $60,000 hinoki wood sushi counter that is sanded daily to ensure smoothness.



“Refined beauty that isn’t affected by time or social changes. Shibui is never complicated or contrived. Purity of being, of living, of sensing is inherent in all elements of the Masa experience.” the restaurant states.



The restaurant’s food isn’t the only thing that’s expensive. Reservations must be made with a credit card, and cancellations — even for one person in a party of diners — not made within 48 hours of the reservation time will mean a $200-per-person fee.







Written by Editorial Staff, Next Shark | Haute Living