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Yoshimatsu Healthy Japanese Eatery

Attention, foodies: natto! Natto is fermented soybeans, a traditional Japanese food rarely found on menus in the United States. To most Westerners, it's sticky, stinky and downright weird, but natto's inclusion on the menu is a sign that this is authentic Japanese food, with a rich range of flavors and textures that extends far beyond old, familiar sushi. Yoshimatsu's food is healthy, seasonal and delicious. We love the bento, a cross between a jewel box and a TV dinner. We love the Astro Boy cartoons playing on TV. We love being overwhelmed by the choices on the menu. We love the gift shop, where even the potato-chip bags are cuuuuuute! Until the dollar trades more favorably against the yen, Yoshimatsu will continue to be our local substitute for a trip to Japan.

Runners up:

2. Takamatsu

(Closed for remodeling after fire damage)

5532 E. Speedway Blvd.

512-0800; takatucson.net

3. Sakura

6534 E. Tanque Verde Road

298-7777; sakuratucson.com

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