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My plan for the side trip to Osaka is finished

Whew! I am SOOO glad you have sorted everything!

Have fun!

Jul 30, 2014
jmatt in Japan

Sukiyabashi Jiro

Who cares. Maybe the most overrated restaurant on the planet. Don't care if the guy's a fucking "master," I'd guarantee that 99.9% of people could never tell the difference between it and a place a 1/4 of the price. Old bastard's laughing all the way to the bank. God love him.

May 13, 2014
jmatt in Japan

Craft beer bars in Tokyo

Apparently there have been some changes at The Hangover. I'm not sure what the story is as I've only heard second-hand, but the American part-owner/manager has left/been forced out of the business, so the vibe and food/beer selection may change a bit. I definitely liked the atmosphere and music better when he was there, so it's pretty crappy news.

May 03, 2014
jmatt in Japan

Craft beer bars in Tokyo

In Asagaya I'd add Stone---he always has a number of good beers on tap, there's an amazing single malt selection, and the food's really good. Good atmosphere to boot.

Jan 11, 2014
jmatt in Japan

Sushi Taichi update

Makes sense!

Dec 24, 2013
jmatt in Japan

Sushi Taichi update

You're right, but I'd bet that the average tourist who has the money to come to Japan and eat at a pricey Sushi-ya probably has at least a passing knowledge of Japanese restaurant etiquette. But maybe not.

I wonder if the chef's "stress" was just Ninisix's read of the situation or if he actually complained about customers to another customer---while they were there, no less. If the latter, that's just amazingly unprofessional.

Dec 24, 2013
jmatt in Japan

Sushi Taichi update

This guy must be pretty, pretty, pretty excited about the 2020 Olympics.

I understand the situation here, especially if the tourists are continually badgering the poor guy in English, but I can only imagine the outcry if I owned, say, a small cocktail bar in NYC, and expressed "stress" that tourists with poor English skills were patronizing the establishment.

Dec 23, 2013
jmatt in Japan

Costco Japan microbrew from the U.S.

I didn't say those beers were great---just a good value for the price. In the US there are way better beers available, naturally, but for the price, they are good---especially the German styles---can't beat them for $5.99 a six, especially when few West Coast breweries specialize in them.

That said, in Japan, for the price at Costco, if the cost of going to the place doesn't negate the value, they are a bargain. And as I said, you may think your beer is great, but I highly doubt it is better than that "swill."

Oct 16, 2013
jmatt in Japan

Costco Japan microbrew from the U.S.

Got to agree with you here. Dan Gordon from GB is a great brewer and the German beers they do for Trader Joe's are one of the best bargains in the US. I find it extraordinarily hard to believe that a dilettante (dozens of brews) brewing extract beers could make anything half as good as the GB Kirkland/TJ beers, let alone anything 10 times better.

Oct 15, 2013
jmatt in Japan

Great article on Osaka from last weekend's WSJ - Part 2

Great couple of articles. Imagine if they'd written about sushi---this board would be BLOWING up!

Jul 06, 2013
jmatt in Japan

Trip Report - Tokyo Part 2 (Tsukiji, Konaya, En, Jean Francois, Pierre Herme, Butagumi, Takazawa)

Though these reports are interesting, certainly hope you got to go to the typical izakaya the average Japanese would eat at. Otherwise, why bother? The meals you've described could easily be had in NYC or any major city. Missed the point. Totally.

Sep 17, 2012
jmatt in Japan

The Beer with the Green Label

Great article. Also, I definitely agree with the majority here--SN is an iconic, almost untouchable brewery who has yet, at least IMO, to release a beer that wasn't delicious and didn't nail the style. They're not trying to re-invent the wheel--just make excellent beers. And they've always succeeded. The Torpedo and the Kellerweis are wonderful. I work at a beer bar in Portland OR, and virtually all the brewers and people in the industry I know have nothing but complete reverence for them. However, the annoying beer dorks, always on the lookout for the newest, hoppiest, most "extreme" beers do tend to look down their snouts at SN. Funny.

Dec 03, 2009
jmatt in Features