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Gargle's Profile

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gyumotsu nikomi + nihonshu

How about Maru in Ogikubo? (although really the gyuusuji there is better)

1 day ago
Gargle in Japan

Using GoVoyagin.com to make High End Restaurant reservations?

Yukimura isn't that hard to get into. If your concierge (hotel or Amex) can't get you in on that date, it means it's either closed or fully booked (or hosting someone you can't see), so you shouldn't bother with another service.

Aug 31, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Open Table - Japan

That's true. The restaurant specific widget is available, but the main page is not (at least last I checked). I imagine this is related to difficulties in translating restaurant names appropriately, but also some other issues related to restaurant implicitly being "forced" to interact with non-Japanese speakers.

Aug 28, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi places in Tokyo with strong Shari?

It's very hard to find anything off the beaten path in Tokyo. At most you can find a place that is just starting out* and recognize it for a gem (even if an unpolished one, like Sushi Shinpaku - although that's not so much about the rice) but that's about it.

* without extensive PR or references from a previous shop, it takes 3 to 4 years for places that are special in quality, value, or some other feature to become booked with their regulars, so you have quite a bit of time to do that.

Aug 26, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi Saito and Sawada questions from first-time traveler to Tokyo

> I wish they just had an online, pay-ahead ticketing system like Alinea/Petit Trois/etc.

They do - there's an initiation/membership fee that you pay by staying at a hotel they do business with, and then the partly-refundable ticket is the cost of the meal. In general you can communicate with the concierge via email / sms, so there you go :)

Aug 24, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi places in Tokyo with strong Shari?

Namba has become pretty hard to book, so good luck with that, but any of the Sho places should provide plenty of oomph.

Aug 23, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Kakigori Recommendations in Tokyo?

Aug 23, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi Saito - a review

Umi is reopening this week, afaik.

Aug 19, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi Saito - a review

Before he was at his current location, Saito was operating out of a parking garage and was just as hard to book, so I'm afraid we have to dispense with that theory.

Aug 19, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Kakigori Recommendations in Tokyo?

Kakigori by Yelo has lines snaking across cat street. (when they tore down the old house where it stands now, you could see the Edo period flood wall from when the street was still a river, probably the coolest aspect of it)

Aug 19, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Dividing South Asian Cuisine as Broadly as Possible

Jim, I'm confused. First of all, as far as I can recall, I've never corrected any of your posts, pompously or otherwise. I can't pretend to have your breadth of knowledge and I can barely hold my own when it comes to a cuisine or two. In case you mean MAO is pompous, that just seems inappropriate but it's between you and them.

Anyway,I wasn't looking for any battle, but I have to admit I was curious because I plan to travel to India at some point next year and this thread seemed informative initially but then suddenly ground to a halt with MAO suggesting that what you've been posting is groundless - and by that I don't mean he or she are nitpicking, looking for some error in how the crust at DiFara is described or the hours of operation of her Arepaness, but that, well, you seem to be wrong on the facts across the board.

I don't know where MAO's information is from (well, now I see a post indicating they're from India, not that this means anything), but I now went and googled it item by item and it seems like you're wrong on the facts. So I guess since you're not interested in being right, that's that.

Aug 06, 2015
Gargle in India & South Asia

Kakigori Recommendations in Tokyo?

Aug 05, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Dividing South Asian Cuisine as Broadly as Possible

As someone who is constantly amazed at Jim's breadth of knowledge I'm curious to hear a response here.

I don't know who My_annoying_opinions is or where he gets his knowledge from, but I know Jim would never make stuff up and his analysis makes sense to me. It would be great if he could put to rest the silly comments - we all know the muslim areas specialize in grilled meats and that the south eats almost no meat. I can't say I know much about Sri Lanka or Chinese Indian, but would love to know more.

Aug 05, 2015
Gargle in India & South Asia

Amazing tiny foodie restaurant in Kyoto- Nakamura

There are hundreds of restaurants called Nakamura in Japan (not a surprise given it's like Smith or Jones). I'm not sure I'd call the one you linked to an "imposter" given it's a very highly regarded kaiseki place with a couple of centuries of history ;)

But it's a good point - name alone is not enough.

Aug 03, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Tokyo sushi recommendations

Btw, Tokami is one of the shops featured in a nice recent publication called 寿司のこころ that surveys various styles and their representative shops (Tenzushi for Kyushu style, Kimura for aging, Tokami for tuna, one of the Sho shops for its gigantic meal and sake recommendations, etc.) as well as the central ingredients and techniques.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E5%AF%BF%E5%...

Aug 03, 2015
Gargle in Japan

3 Michelin stars fusion in Sapporo Picchu or Moliere,

At the high end it is.

Aug 03, 2015
Gargle in Japan

3 Michelin stars fusion in Sapporo Picchu or Moliere,

Then have a concierge call. If you don't have one, then you could also try gurunavi - I've never had any luck with them when I tried a while back, but some people claimed to have had success:

http://r.gnavi.co.jp/h882100/lang/en/...

Finally, consider learning some key phrases and make a cheat sheet with times, days, etc.

Aug 02, 2015
Gargle in Japan

3 Michelin stars fusion in Sapporo Picchu or Moliere,

They have a reservations phone number. +81 50-5570-4514

Aug 02, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Craft beer bars in Tokyo

Mikkeller is opening August 22. Disturbingly close to my office.

Mikkeller.jp

Aug 02, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi Meal during Obon Week

I personally didn't think Ichinayagi merits its high score, but I think it's a legitimate option and I'd still rank it above Kyubey, can't say if you'll like it or sushi shin better.

That Omae thing seems all wrong.

Aug 01, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Amazing tiny foodie restaurant in Kyoto- Nakamura

I don't know if you can edit the title of the post, but the restaurant is called Nakamura.

Jul 28, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Hotel concierge for restaurant booking

It's not a problem at all, unless you're Abe.

Jul 25, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Where to dine if Jimbocho Den is closed?

Equilibrio closed about a month ago.

That said, it's a bit of a head-scratcher to figure out how you came to the conclusion that a white tablecloth Italian in the sticks is similar to "creative" kaiseki in Kanda.

Jul 25, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Hotel concierge for restaurant booking

Sorry, but for the Tokyo restaurants you mention, there is no need for someone in Japan to call on your behalf, except Jiro. There's no reason to post incorrect information.

Jul 24, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Hotel concierge for restaurant booking

Considering that the Tokyo restaurants you've listed are all easy to book and all have English speakers on staff except Jiro, that sounds like a pretty wasteful way to make some phone calls :)

Jul 23, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Discussion about Tablelog

It's all been going downhill since the government shut down Oishinbo.

Jul 17, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Discussion about Tablelog

Tabelog ratings are based solely off of public reviews.

However, there is some clever engineering behind assigning weights to these reviews and preventing fraud. For a while they were tweaking it so it ended up produced results biased towards a few super-eaters, but I think now it's a pretty good ranking, certainly better than Michelin and no comparison with Yelp. This is due both to the weighing system and to the public being better informed, more honest, and less likely to dish out extremely high or low scores due to some personality issues that are less common here.

p.s. of course some biases exist - great prices can impact more than just the cost performance aspect, trophy bookings lead to higher scores and more reviews per diner, etc.

Jul 16, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi Saito and Sawada questions from first-time traveler to Tokyo

Sawada isn't that hard to book. Dining alone is not unusual at all.

Jul 16, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi Saito and Sawada questions from first-time traveler to Tokyo

The way it works is that regulars get to book their next visit (or sometimes multiple visits), and there are more regulars than covers, so your only hope of getting in is if there's a cancellation or you get really lucky. Considering Saito is consistently one of the highest rated restaurants in all Japan on tabelog, and not nearly as expensive or daunting as other contenders (Matsukawa, Quintessence), you can see how you'd be unlikely to get a reservation.

Jul 15, 2015
Gargle in Japan

Sushi Saito and Sawada questions from first-time traveler to Tokyo

You can find up to date price information here:

http://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1308/A13...
http://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1301/A13...

You probably won't be able to get into Saito.

Iirc, Sawada charges 100% cancellation fee a few days in advance, and you can only book via your hotel concierge (not a credit card concierge). I assume the hotel will require a credit card to complete the booking on your behalf.

Jul 11, 2015
Gargle in Japan