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Spago's Mystery Seafood Box Will Change the Way You Think About Fresh Fish

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It's always a race against the clock

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Arrive for dinner at Spago in Beverly Hills on a given weeknight, and you might well be eating a Japanese fish that not even the chef knew about six hours before. That’s the crux of this new mini documentary from the Indulgence team at Playboy, wherein they follow Spago chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi as he embraces the ‘mystery box,’ a collection of the freshest set-aside Japanese fish that he must use on the same day it arrives —without having any idea what’s inside at first.

Take a look as Yahagi works the rounds at the morning fish market, before carting his box back to the restaurant and preparing a couple of widely varied dishes for that night’s service. Of course, this being Spago, some supplementary ingredients like caviar are used liberally, but the basics of the mystery box — to embrace the unknown and the freshness of the ocean — remains. Check it out.


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