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Gargle's Profile

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Mid-day omakase in Tokyo?

Sushiya, Ichiyanagi, Kyubei, many other places in Ginza/Shinbashi are open, and I you should be able to get to Narita by 3:30 easily from any of them.

about 13 hours ago
Gargle in Japan

Top Gaijin eats or Non-Japanese foods in Tokyo

I had the Devilcraft deep dish pizza recently - it was by far the worst food item I've had in Japan. Every ingredient was subpar (olives, especially, were bad even for Japan) and the dough was amateurish with very strong yeast flavor coming from too short and hot rising. I don't know if it used to be better, but I would strongly recommend against it. Nice beer selection, though.

Mar 03, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Kurogi Reports?

Finally made it here. I like the style and some of the ingredients and preparations were excellent (gigantic uni from Hokkaido, goma doufu with fukinotou) but overall I felt like the gap between what we got here and at Matsukawa (in terms of ingredients) last week, for almost exactly the same price, was substantial in Matsukawa's favor, and also that the better meals at some of the other high end places on the rotation are much better than this in terms of dish composition... still I have a feeling that coming back and sitting at the counter the experience will be quite different. We'll see.

Mar 03, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Kagurazaka Ishikawa reservations

They do not take reservations two months from the date, except for allowing regulars to book in advance. Sometimes friends make stuff up.

Feb 28, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Eating in or around Tsukiji Market

It's just a couple of hawkers on the curb, you should be done in 15 minutes.

Feb 25, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Tepito in Shimokitazawa -- Good Mexican food?

By now there are more good Mexican places in a 4x4 block area around our place in New York than there are in all of Tokyo, and New York still isn't the best place for Mexican food.

I think that's more or less the right perspective on Mexican in Tokyo. Tepito if you must.

Feb 24, 2015
Gargle in Japan

The "remarkable value" special lunch spot

They are reopening March 19 and taking reservations (two months out) starting March 7. Menu prices are going up to 6000 for lunch and 12500 for dinner (plus the usual 10% "service" charge, and 8% tax)

Feb 21, 2015
Gargle in Japan

suggestion for dinner first night in tokyo

If you touch them, one time in seven, Godzilla comes!

Feb 21, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Best sushi in Tokyo? Rate my choices, please!

It does get asked often and there's never any good answer. :)

Feb 21, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Best sushi in Tokyo? Rate my choices, please!

Feb 19, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi-ya question for Ninisix (or other sushi enthusiasts)

That's a shame. There are a couple of others like that, meaning they'll charge a modest fee and will act as your reservation proxy. I see cinq.me lists Sushi Sho and Sushi Taira for example.

Feb 18, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi-ya question for Ninisix (or other sushi enthusiasts)

You could give these guys a try:

http://www.food-tourism-japan.com/

Feb 17, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Authentic bánh mì in Tokyo

Finally made it to the Takadanobaba Banh Mi shop. It's totally legit, and the pate is a real pleasure compared to what you often get.

Feb 14, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Tokyo restaurant to celebrate my husband's birthday ( with my 3 year old)?

Feb 08, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Yet another "Please help me plan my meals" thread - at least I've done some preliminary research!

Also worth noting that (depending on your luck) Tokyo and more so Kyoto in July can make any nyc heat wave seem mild, so a focus on Tsukemen/soba might be warranted (or other alternatives to hot bowls of soup and noodles)

Feb 07, 2015
Gargle in Japan
1

A couple of Tokyo Reviews. (sushi and more)

Namba does two seatings. They're pretty full for March, so you might want to try now for April.

Den is not anywhere near the same league as Ishikawa or Seizan, even if it has its own advantages. Other than Anglo food bloggers who enjoy the attention and sort of aggressive friendliness, nobody would even think of discussing them that way.

Feb 04, 2015
Gargle in Japan

High End Sushi in Tokyo (or should I stick with Sawada?)

I know you're shopping for a different answer, but your best bet is for your hotel to arrange for a babysitter when you plan to have your high end meals.

Feb 03, 2015
Gargle in Japan

A couple of Tokyo Reviews. (sushi and more)

Thanks for the report!

Btw, under-pickled kohada is to be celebrated as it highlights the flavor of the fish instead of just being a sweet vinegar & salt bomb. It is one heck of a labor intensive item (a three day process involving five stages of cleaning, deboning (necessary since there's not enough vinegar to melt the bones), salting, gentle pickling) and therefore not nearly as common as it should be. The better location of Zouroku down in Hiroo does this very well (although it's not a shop that I'd put on the tourist list)

Feb 03, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Kaiseki in Tokyo

I think you have the wrong idea - it is the 3* michelin places that are actually possible for you to book, as opposed to ones who chose not to be in the guide. Early April is a particularly busy time though (with many tourists, including piggyjen, coming to town), so you might have to be flexible.

Jan 29, 2015
Gargle in Japan

looking to share dinner at florilege

You've been holding this reservation since at least December 15. It is unfair to the restaurant and to other diners to make speculative reservations, please stop doing that.

Jan 27, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Cookbooks by Japanese chefs and stores in Tokyo/Kyoto

Hard to think of anything specific - as you can imagine, the books are virtually all in Japanese.

There's also Aoyama Book Center which has a nice selection of cooking, art, etc.

I think those are the relatively less frustrating shops for a non-speaker. There's also Junkudo, and Kinokuniya (but iirc you're coming from nyc so you've got one of those already)

Jan 19, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Cookbooks by Japanese chefs and stores in Tokyo/Kyoto

T-Site.

Jan 19, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Armchair Food Travel in Japan

Don't worry, I get it. Our local Izakaya carries these on a regular basis. I like them up until May when they start getting a bit dodgy.

And of course you can get them delivered to your home without spending time to go out to the country:

http://www.umaikaki.com/shiraishiko/s...

Jan 18, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Armchair Food Travel in Japan

Thanks, that's a nice site, nice jab at us lazy rich city folks too!

Jan 18, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Tokyo and Kyoto plan

You need to book Ishikawa early, but it's totally realistic (they're closed for the next two weeks as the entire staff is going to cook somewhere in Singapore, although with substantially less fanfare than when Noma goes to Tokyo ;), so there may not be anyone picking up the phone). The difference between the menus is 4000 yen.

Matsukawa is well over your budget target and I wouldn't try it until you've had some experience with kaiseki.

Seizan is great, and also very realistic to book, but ask for seats at the counter.

Yuuji is a well priced and quite good yakiniku option, if you don't mind smelling like pastrami for a couple of days. Make sure to take the steak there if you go - not expensive and not a huge portion. Book well in advance.

Maisen is a waste of time and calories. Grab something from their takeout counter if you'd like.

Jan 17, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Noma in Tokyo?

Apparently the waiting list is 60,000 long. I didn't know there were that many food bloggers.

Jan 16, 2015
Gargle in Japan

In response to avoiding "Pesky Americans!" (Yankees)

And if the wife is allergic to French but the 4 year old likes to get sick at restaurants, then instead of being like a punishment at school, it becomes as bad as staying in Guantanamo.

Personally, when I am bored with something I find it more effective to quit doing it than to tell others they are a source of boredom, or even a punishment to me.

Jan 13, 2015
Gargle in France

Mayday Mayday : Angela's Banh Mi is no more !

Yes, except nobody's doing any baking, and apparently the fresh product includes pate that is only for fools and rude folks ;)

Jan 11, 2015
Gargle in France

Difference between Japanese chef cooking in Paris and Japanese chef cooking Asian inspired French food in Paris

Hiramatsu is a multinational catering organization. They run many French themed places in Japan (Auberge de l'Ill, I think the Paul Bocuse franchise, Hiramatsu, etc.) and probably don't belong in the picture.

Sola and Passage 53 are French. Perhaps they have some Japanese sensibility but they're only marginally Asian-influenced. Same is true for Neige d'Ete.

Abri is a step down the sophistication line. Also French.

I don't see Asian influence in any of these. I haven't been to the others.

On the other hand there are many proper Japanese restaurants - Aida, Toyo, Okuda, etc.

I think a good test of this is whether you'd know the food is cooked in a Japanese style without knowing in advance that the chef is Japanese (or having a Japanese FOH). Usually the answer is you'd just think it's modern French.

eta: At Neige d'Ete there was one funny detail - the sauce on the game entree was demi glace, by which I mean it wasn't based on demi glace but it was simply demi glace. This is a very typically Japanese thing to do in "western" food and I didn't ask the chef if he was being referential/ironic or just thought that's how it should be.

Jan 11, 2015
Gargle in France

Tokyo Reservations in Feb

The OP made reservations to all three on the same night. He changed his post to hide that, so maybe one reason Den is full is that people made reservations they don't intend to honor :)

Jan 11, 2015
Gargle in Japan