Masa and Gray’s Papaya Have More in Common Than You Might Think

Masa and Gray’s: two beloved omakase bars.Masa photo: Mark Peterson/Redux; Gray’s: Lauren Klain CartonNews has reached us (via Zagatwire) that Masa plans on raising the prices of its famous omakase dinner from an already astronomical $350 to $400. It couldn’t be helped, the chef told us. "For the last two years, the prices have not been raised. But they’re going up because of the cost of the ingredients, especially the very expensive ones such as truffles and caviar." The tone and message seemed so familiar to us … where had we heard it before?

This was the very message of regret conveyed by Gray’s Papaya to the world, apologizing in advance for the dollar-a-dog barrier. (When this will happen, no man can say. The stoic, fast-moving drones at the Village Gray’s merely shrugged when asked.) It occurs to us that there’s an elegant symmetry in the two restaurants’ raising their prices. Both are beloved by their customers, and both occupy special places at the top and bottom of the food chain. And neither price increase will affect their business one bit. High-stepping swells who will stop at nothing to experience the ultimate in sushi will pay $400 without a thought; as J.P. Morgan once said of yachts, if you have to ask the price … As for Gray’s, even the brokest college student will still be able to swing the cost of one of their hot dogs. Now if only they’d start charging more already.

Price Hike at Masa [Zagatwire]
Lamentation at Gray’s Papaya [NYT]