g

Gargle's Profile

Title Last Reply

Gourmet Burgers in Tokyo / Osaka

Calling the burger in two French-ish nyc restaurants "typically american" is pretty funny. I can't really see the appeal of the fast food / diner style, but ymmv.

about 11 hours ago
Gargle in Japan

Gourmet Burgers in Tokyo / Osaka

You should pay a visit to nyc, where I assume you haven't been, because all these skinny little well-done burgers cannot even be seen as in the same league as Roberta's, DBGB, Minnetta, etc.

1 day ago
Gargle in Japan

What's with all the lining up for hours for miserable, crappy food?

Since they don't work or do anything else, it costs them nothing to wait on line, and at the end of the wait they get lots of sugar and calories for relatively cheap (you'll notice that in general the person waiting in line is more full bodied than a random person walking around the same area).

They also wait in line for Flying Tiger Copenhagen. Go figure.

Sep 21, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Gourmet Burgers in Tokyo / Osaka

Maybe if they put more effort into the burger and less into photography it would be better ;)

Sep 21, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Gourmet Burgers in Tokyo / Osaka

I found that Blacows sounds like it should be good, but it's ground so thin (probably from some very gristly bits) it's more like a fish cake than a burger in texture. I also ate at the Gotanda shop owned by the same company, where the theme is hanbagu rather than hanbaga, and there was a similar gap between the A-5 promises and the rather wet and flavorless hunk of meat loaf on the hot plate. Probably the only place I ate in Japan where there was a deliberate attempt to mislead diners (the burgers are not from A-5 meat, you know), but then I almost never eat at chains.

The lamb burger at Cristiano's is delicious.

And I wish everything about Martini Burger wasn't so horrid because the patties themselves are very good.

Sep 20, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Questions re. Cocktail Bars, Sake Pubs, Jazz Lounges, etc.

As with third wave espresso shops, newer bars will be happy to offer you well balanced cocktails (except for Gen Yamamoto, where everything is sweet, but also undeniably well made). It's obviously true that if you ask for a recommendation at High Five, Radio, etc. you'll get something fruity (or worse, milky), which is why I usually stick with whisky and such when I take someone there.

Sep 19, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Any high-end restaurant is open ( tokyo) on national holiday?

Nice list. Usually you'll find French, Italian, and other internationally themed restaurants will be open, as well as a small number of Japanese places. What's your preference?

p.s. I'm sure you know, but both Ajiman and Matsukawa are cash only, and it can be a lot of cash, so plan accordingly if you have ATM limit issues.

Sep 19, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Questions re. Cocktail Bars, Sake Pubs, Jazz Lounges, etc.

I meant if you're lucky and one of their better bartenders is on duty. It's not a furniture shop, but it's also not a bar that takes itself particularly seriously.

Assuming you won't have Ueno accompany you to Star Bar like the nytimes did, you'll be sitting there with a line of couples waiting for your place at the bar, and once seated you'll get a completely unremarkable cocktail produced with great aplomb, which you will then drink with no further communication with the bar except perhaps minimal English commentary on how amazing their ice is.

That's the reality.

There are some bars that take reservations, others would prefer for you to call before showing up, still others you can just walk into. It depends.

p.s. check out these blog posts if you haven't already: http://measureandstir.com/tag/tokyo/

Sep 19, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Questions re. Cocktail Bars, Sake Pubs, Jazz Lounges, etc.

It's pretty ambitious (and, in the case of the Ginza places, very expensive) to visit several places a night.

I can't think of any reason to visit Star Bar. Cocktails are much better in the new generation places (Trench, etc., even Fuglen if you're lucky) and Star is far from charming (and doesn't have the obvious institutional qualities of Radio, for example). There's also Gen Yamamoto, which isn't entirely my cup of tea but I think objectively it's very good.

Sep 18, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Where to eat in Kyushu?

You could do much worse than the motsunabe here:

http://tabelog.com/fukuoka/A4001/A400...

Sep 12, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Because it's the sort of brand-diluting franchise deal that many high end chefs were dragged into during the bubble, and which they probably regret? Like the first Gagnaire Tokyo, for example.

Sep 12, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

They don't take reservations - you have to show up early and put your name on the list. It's a nice casual place, not fancy in any way, but also not a no-frills joint. The specialty breed pork is exceptional, the regular stuff is quite good. Oysters - raw or fried are also a hit and the missus can get them, or shrimps, or I think even fried foie gras and many other non-pork items. Tabelog says it's closed mondays and a a couple of tuesdays a month.

Sep 09, 2014
Gargle in Japan
1

Openings & Closings July, August & September 2014

Not worth it.

Sep 09, 2014
Gargle in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Chukasoba Suzuran question

If you have time in Osaka, go to manger (manje) instead of either. Much better.

http://tabelog.com/osaka/A2707/A27070...

Sep 08, 2014
Gargle in Japan
1

First time in Japan (Opinion on my list of places to go to)

If you're interested in beer, check out the craft beer thread on this board. The scene is frothing.

eta: sorry, didn't notice Robb S already mentioned some places.

Sep 08, 2014
Gargle in Japan

First time in Japan (Opinion on my list of places to go to)

Tender is nicer, with better cocktails, and less expensive :)

Sep 08, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Openings & Closings July, August & September 2014

I doubt very much you'd describe the human mass at Txirimiri, or the lovely old waitresses at very traditional Akaoni as "yuppie", but also that you'd think of courses like sauteed foie in wine reduction on terrific potatoes, or some of the more elaborate creations at Kotaro as a little after work snack. ;)

I don't know what the "most people" argument has to do with anything. "Most people" consume food at fast food chains and most Izakaya in Japan today (and many tapas bars in Spain, although still not most) are indeed part of what you might consider such chains.

eta: and I say that having lived in Tokyo for two years and having spent about as much time in various parts of Spain during the past decade. Yes, there's a place for 200 yen plates and freebies with your glass of plonk, but they're completely dominated by chains that are about as good as McD. That's not what Izakaya or good tapas are about and not what they've been about for a very long time. Also, Izakaya are not places where food is eaten standing or on the run, there are standing bars for that and they're not that old. Tapas, of course is usually a standing affair.

Sep 08, 2014
Gargle in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

First time in Japan (Opinion on my list of places to go to)

I'd probably exchange the three sushi places for two better ones, go to Tender instead of High Five, no coco, maybe Obana instead of Nodaiwa.

eta: the lower priced menu at Seizan is $100pp and you probably won't be spending much on drinks there, so that's not a bad option for not-too-expensive kaiseki. Or maybe get a course meal at one of the more serious Izakaya?

Sep 08, 2014
Gargle in Japan
1

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

This time of year the neighborhood badger always gets restless, I'm never sure if it senses summer is over, or just worried about Fashion night out.

Thank you for this fun thread, we just had what are probably the last of the dadachamame for this season with the first of the kabocha.

Sep 08, 2014
Gargle in Japan
1

Openings & Closings July, August & September 2014

I wonder when people here were last at highly regarded tapas bars in Spain or at equally highly regarded Izakaya in Japan. These are most certainly not places for a drink and a snack, and most people have their full evening's worth of eating and drinking there. Not to mention in Tokyo it can be weeks, sometimes months to get a reservation in some Izakaya.

Sep 08, 2014
Gargle in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Is Ichiban Shibori Frozen Nama (Soft Serve Beer) still served in Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka?

Still served in many places, including the Kirin beer garden in Jinnan - I'm not sure if it's a seasonal offering. What's really good about it is that it's so cold you almost can't feel the flavor.

Sep 08, 2014
Gargle in Japan
1

Tapas Molecular Bar

When someone is waving the authenticity flag, run for the hills.

Sep 07, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Well, cooking beef that fatty over charcoal isn't necessarily the best strategy as you need to keep it far enough from the source of heat so it doesn't combust. I imagine if they have less fatty cuts they'll cook them on the grill.

Sep 06, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Yes, but they tell you that you should get it on the plancha.

Sep 06, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Having dug further into the deep corners of my memory, I believe that Gorio offered to cook our steak either on the grill or on the plancha, but very much recommended the latter.

Sep 06, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Ok, I seemed to recall they cooked the steak on a plancha but it was a long time ago so I could be wrong. I think the pricing are one aspect that is annoying, but also every other element but the meat, from the decor to the wine list is just not nice, to say the least. More so at Aragawa.

Sep 06, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Gorio is not as vile as Aragawa. The former is a little annoying (but the beef is terrific) while the latter is just despicable. But is Gorio really a Sumiyaki restaurant?

Sep 05, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Is that other Kawamura even related? I think the blog post that you read was written by someone so focused on foodie stratification that he or she confused the matter by claiming where she ate was #7 in Tabelog (more like 7000) and linking to a post about the right Kawamura.

I guess Shima or Gorio (if you don't mind the f-u pricing) are also options.

Sep 05, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Kawamura is widely regarded as the best steak restaurant in Tokyo. If your concierge can get you in...

http://www.kayoubidesu.com/?p=4

Sep 04, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Question re. November Reservations - Restaurants I'm waiting to book and likelihood of availability/issues

No, it's that there was a certain balance of effort, price, atmosphere and quality that worked, and perhaps it (1) no longer works and (2) you don't see it on any lists because it's on the lists of all its regulars and therefore irrelevant to the rest of us.

Sep 04, 2014
Gargle in Japan