At least I found an explanation for the sea bass. I still can't figure out the squid. Admittedly, that's not entirely Takaya's fault. On a recent episode of the public-radio Zeitgeist prodder This American Life, a reporter obsessively bird-dogged a rumor that (once, maybe) a pork processor somewhere had packaged pig rectums (or, as they're called in the industry, "bung") as "imitation calamari." When the investigation proved fruitless, the reporter resorted to a blind taste test in which he pitted fried calamari against fried bung. One of the two participants preferred the bung.

I was not one of the tasters, and I'm pretty damn sure I've never eaten pig-butt rings à la calamari, but I suspect that in a blind tasting I'd have chosen 'em over the deep-fried squid I ate at Takaya.

I should mention that our server did delete the calamari from the bill. That kind gesture, however, barely dented the total tab: $90, for a dinner for two. Unless you're content with a minimalist selection of nigiri, a meal at Takaya will cost you. Maybe there was a time in St. Louis when merely opening a sleek new restaurant aping a played-out culinary trend was enough to serve as one of the cornerstones of splashy new downtown development.

Location Info


Takaya New Asian

634 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63102

Category: Restaurant > Asian Fusion

Region: St. Louis - Downtown


Takaya New Asian
Bulgogi sliders...$12
Garlic-miso bass...$21
"Tuna Carpaccio"...$23

Slideshow: Inside Takaya New Asian

634 Washington Avenue; 314-241-5721.
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. (Closed Sun.)

In 2013, though, it comes off as a load of horse — well, you know. Rhymes with bung.

Slideshow: Inside Takaya New Asian

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