Luxury will forever be defined by exclusivity, yet luxury brands must also embrace a new E-word: experience.

I read a New York Times restaurant review for Masa, arguably one of the best Japanese restaurants in New York City. The article caught my eye as Masa made our short list when my company was tasked with putting together a press dinner for S.T. Dupont.

As the CEO of the 112 year old French company was flying in from Paris to attend this affair, we were determined to have the dinner at one of New York’s finest. But Masa’s $40,000 demand for a dinner that would serve just 15 people put it out of the running as other 2 and 3 Michelin-rated restaurants Per Se, Jean George, Le Bernadin and Gordon Ramsey at The London Hotel came closer to our budget. Anyway, this was my first experience with Masa, and I haven’t since forgotten it. So when I ran across this review where Masa lost one of its four prized stars, I paid close attention.

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