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Kabuki, Madrid

2 Presidente Carmona Avenue
Tel: 34 91 417 6415's insider take:

This nouvelle Japanese restaurant in a residential neighborhood has made chef Ricardo Sanz into one of Madrid's newest culinary darlings. Kabuki's interior is understated, with all the bustle of a Tokyo sushi bar, while outdoor tables exude effortless class, like a sidewalk version of a Great Gatsby lawn party. Both spaces are lorded over by a suave waitstaff that's intimately familiar with Sanz's tricked-out Ibero-sashimi. Lemonfish might meet with papa arrugá (Canarian potato) and mojo verde, or urta (a rockfish from the Cõdiz bay) with adobo. In the showstopping usuzukuri trufa, a minuscule scoop of black-truffle pâté brings each ethereal pat of pez mantequilla (butterfish) back into the earth's orbit. Although Sanz can sometimes get too truffle-happy, he wisely lets toro sashimi go solo, letting the fish shine with pale, oily simplicity. Few tourists show up at Kabuki, and the casually glam regulars would probably be happy to keep it that way—reservations are hard enough to book as it is, even on weeknights. But you're well-advised to crash this party.

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