A quest for the ultimate menu! R to L (Japanese Style). "The Joy of Rice"In this volume of Oishinbo, Yamaoka and company look into the single most essential food in Japanese cuisine: rice. Cultivated for millennia, a staple meal in itself and the basis of countless other dishes, rice is an important component not only of the Japanese kitchen but also of Japanese culture. When Yamaoka is asked by TMzai's head chef for help in coming up with a new rice dish, what starts out as a simple culinary request rapidly grows into a disquisition into the past, present and future of Japan's food culture. As part of the celebrations for its 100th anniversary, the publishers of the "TMzai News" have commissioned the creation of the "Ultimate Menu," a model meal embodying the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine. This all-important task has been entrusted to journalist Yamaoka ShirM, an inveterate cynic who possesses no initiative--but also an incredibly refined palate and an encyclopedic knowledge of food. Each volume of "Oishinbo" follows Yamaoka and his colleagues through another adventure on their quest for the Ultimate Menu. Now, the highlights from the hundred-plus volume series have been selected and compiled into "A la Carte" editions: bite-sized chunks of story arranged by subject that add up to a full-course manga meal!