Credit: Andrea Bauer

Up to ten times a day at Japonais by Morimoto, a sushi commis loads upwards of eight pounds of a proprietary blend of California Tamanishiki and Tamaki brown rice into a big, bulky imported rice polisher. After a few minutes the bran is eroded from the grains, leaving a bit of the germ intact for flavor and nutritional value. The rice stays fresher because in the husk it retains its moisture longer than commercial milled rice. Each grain is distinct, and it’s the lightest, fluffiest, shiniest rice in town—nobody else makes the effort.