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Best vongole pasta in Tokyo?

Elio is a great Southern Italian red sauce type restaurant. It is real European quality for what most Americans feel are "Italian' dishes and they are just that- real Italian dishes from the Southern areas.....If you are not on expenses, make sure to order off the menu because if the super friendly Roberto comes up to you, recites the possibilities and then you let him take it from there, you are talking 15,000 to 20,000 yen for dinner. Off the menu you can get away with about 5000 + alcohol.

Jun 08, 2014
jet lagged in Japan

Falafel: SFBA Dish of the Month June 2014

Taste of Mediterranean in Burlingame....

Help A Girl Out - Two Days in Sonoma

Stubb's. Pinot Noir primarily. It's un-marked- you sit in their living room and they bring out the bottles and talk with you. You need to get an invitation. Look them up and get in touch...

Yakitori suggestions

Kushiwakamaru in Nakameguro. Get there right when they open so there is no line....try to sit at the counter if you can...there is an English menu and they understand English but it passes the authentic sniff test for it is a great neighborhood to have a walk in either before or after a dinner.

Jun 07, 2014
jet lagged in Japan

Avoid Gonpachi (Azabu-Juban, Roppongi)

It's the flagship location of a very mediocre chain restaurant that is often found near amusement parks and old shopping malls. It's like a Japanese Howard Johnson with the Nishi-Azabu one happening to have a great location. Walk across the intersection heading West. The second small street, make a right. Walk 75 meters there will be a little house type thing on your right. Either go in there (Butagami tonkatsu) or go into the door under the Christian cross looking flag that says "These"- this is a Library Bar- get the vegetable or pork curry or ask if they will make the old favorite French toast.

Dec 09, 2013
jet lagged in Japan

Sunday night inTokyo -- 7 choices...

Cicada in Minami-Aoyama is a good Sunday choice.

Dec 09, 2013
jet lagged in Japan

Is Butagumi closed? Other good Tonkatsu

Walked by there this week at lunch time and they were open.

Nov 09, 2013
jet lagged in Japan

Breakfast in Tokyo

Finally- I found someone else who will confirm that Roppongi French Kitchen is crap. I have tried 5 times. Micro portions of bad tasting food in an "open kitchen" where you can't see anything. As I have to take US CEOs around Tokyo for my work, they do ask to go there. I warn them and sometimes we go, and it has ALWAYS been a bad, rip-off. If one is looking to meet well dressed Japanese women in their 30 and 40s who are trying to have a fling with a Western banker, then I recommend it. (Not likely at breakfast time though-Two Rooms is probably better for that reason anyway...)

Mar 27, 2011
jet lagged in Japan


Toraya is the only place I have seen actual Japanese people. My Japanese partner calls Fugakyu her "favorite CHINESE restaurant" as she likes roll sushi but says at Fugakyu they wear their kimonos like Edo period prostitutes. Toraya is a dump physically but the sushi and cooked food is quite good. (We are about 70% Tokyo and 30% Boston these days)....

Toraya Restaurant
890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

Fugakyu Cafe
621 Boston Post Rd, Sudbury, MA 01776

Chez Henri, bar? dining room? recs?

The main dining room is expensive and not much better if at all then mediocre (dry chicken, fatty (not in a good way) steak, too much salt- but the bar is excellent.......

Best romantic bar?

These-Nishi Azabu
Bar Rage - Minami Aoyama
Legato- Shibuya
Conrad Hotel- Shiodome
Cerulean Hotel- Shibuya
Park Hyatt- Shinjuku

Nov 18, 2010
jet lagged in Japan

tokyo with kids

A lot of people are proposing ramen- but with a one year old, we have a no hot liquids near her that can spill we take turns with the one not eating holding her- but I wouldn't say this is therefore more family friendly than anywhere else.

Elio Locando in Hanzomon allows kids for Saturday and Sunday lunch and this is an international standard Italian that the adults would love anyway.

Too bad Cicada limits kids to renting the private room.

Mar 31, 2010
jet lagged in Japan

Breakfast in Tokyo

I had to change my breakfast style after moving here. Now it is two tsunomayo onigiri from the combine and a 500ml Meiji LB81 drinking yogurt. I then take it to the Kotto Dori Starbucks and get a espresso con panna and eat the whole thing sitting outside. If you sit inside, the staff after 18 months or so chided me for bringing in outside food. However, at around 12:30 and around 3:00 a number of yakuza have a meeting there on many days. They park a Black Mercedes and a White Mercedes out front each with a single digit license plate. They have the yakuza OL (in Armani pant suits!) go in advance and order the coffees-the young guys sit security and the senior guy is usually dressed like a university professor or older stylish hippie (but with snakeskin shoes and geek glasses) comes, they can take up to 10 seats and like having the trees planted near the sidewalk as cover.......that's right- you asked about breakfast in Tokyo......well for me that is breakfast in Tokyo

Mar 31, 2010
jet lagged in Japan

Amazing Peruvian in Daikanyama

I have been to the Peruvian in Gotanda. Pretty greasy and not so interesting. Gotanda is interesting though. It exists so you can save money by not having to go to Osaka. You can get all your yakuza and thousands of pay for companionship places only 5 minutes from Shinagawa. So when your clients ask, "What is Osaka like?"- you can say its like Gotanda to the 100th power

Mar 31, 2010
jet lagged in Japan

Tokyo resident looking for help on best spicy Chinese in Kobe

Not ramen, but Schezuan, etc. Not a fan of anything in Yokohama Chinatown as an indication of my tastes.

Mar 16, 2010
jet lagged in Japan

Good restaurant for a date

Medusa in Ebisu although relatively new, looks like a bubble period high end izakaya with people in their 40s on gokans (group dates). Good place to take a mistress as it is in a basement, is dark, has high end Italian which the Japanese ladies go crazy over, is near the high end love hotels, and you can get her back on the train without much street exposure to your peers and co-workers-but for a special woman visiting from the US-Elio Locando is a fun, classy, high end Southern Italian or Cicada as it gets a good mixture of classy expatriates and high end Japanese with most dishes hitting well most nights.

Mar 16, 2010
jet lagged in Japan

Grab and go espresso in Tokyo?

Macchinesti was a weird one. Some days incredible other days almost cold. Also, the staff weren't always so friendly which is rare for a skilled specialty place in Japan. Their sandwiches (club and pastrami) were great as were the dark breads they were made on. I am sad to see them go as I live right up the hill from there and Segafreddo is better than Starbucks but still way disappointing. Also the Hiro-o Segafredo gets kind of a sleazy on the make older than 50s crowd. (Wrinkly women wearing leather, aggressive, semi-employed high end car salesmen, etc) Another great coffee loss was Cohiba Atmosphere on Kotto Dori. Miki there was sent to Italy to train as a barista and competed in the World Barista Championships. You can try a wine bar in Ebisu called Da Noi- they have the equipment and are pretty good. (It's right by the love hotels there. It's kind of a stop for guys when the lady they are with is still on the fence about what may happen next....the feeling is that another glass of wine or a grappa may help achieve the goal.......)

Mar 16, 2010
jet lagged in Japan

Falafel, Baba Ghanoush & other Middle Eastern delights

Cicada which is a high end tapas restaurant in Minami-Azabu has the best hummous. It actually is better than many I have had in Israel. Middle Eastern restaurants are tough-even in Tokyo. There is a high end Turkish in Nakameguro whose name escapes me that has what you want as well.

Mar 04, 2010
jet lagged in Japan

Thoughts on the Gotham Grill in Ebisu?

It's just down the street from my house and thinking of giving it a try. Should I stick to a burger or a lunch set or is it worth 15K for two for steak dinners? How does it compare to Beacon? Is the wine served properly or is the red wine chilled like too often in Japan?

Feb 07, 2010
jet lagged in Japan

Need Asian restaurant for 30 visiting Japanese executives

The overseas executives have requested it as basic familiarity is important to them.

Need Asian restaurant for 30 visiting Japanese executives

We did that one 3 years ago. It was too hard to break down the crabs with everybody in suits and people being so formal with good manners (Japanese), so most people left the crabs and were hungry afterwards.

Need Asian restaurant for 30 visiting Japanese executives

Yes, up to $80 per person if that includes some fairly average wine or a drink or two.

Need Asian restaurant for 30 visiting Japanese executives

I have to book an Asian restaurant that has either a private room or we can take over a section of the restaurant for 30-40 Japanese executives that would do a set menu under $80 and hopefully that includes a drink or two.

Within 5 minutes cab ride from Union Square would be great. Doesn't have to be ChinaTown. We used Bong Su in the past -something along those lines would be great.

Where to find the definitive list of must-eats (cheap eats) for Tokyo?

Chinese Cafe 8 in Roppongi. 24 hours. Common tables, fun people. Super spicy Schezuan available as well as a whole Peking Duck for about $35. Better by a factor of 5 than ANY Chinese restaurant in Boston. This isn't like US Chinese so should meet your requirements

Best burger in the World- Grail Pub in Nishi-Azabu. The chef doesn't even make burgers certain months of the year as he feels the humidity is not right for the buns to rise properly.

Any ramen place in Ebisu-look for loads of geeky guys heading towards one at around 11 pm. Just go. Point your way through- should be under 10 bucks.

Pizza- PizzaKaya in Roppongi for American NY style. Napule at Tokyo Midtown or Omotesando for think crust authentic Naples style.

Sushi- Most sushi train (kaiten sushi) restaurants in OK neighborhoods.

Indian- Go for lunch to Sitaara on Koto Dori in Minami-Aoyama. 15 bucks -same food at dinner is close to $75. The lunch buffet at Nirvana New York in Tokyo Midtown for $20 is also quite good.

Classy night bar with two kinds of food only: These (pronounced Tay-Zay) on a side street in Nishi Azabu (big mafia area but upscale). Go after 10 pm. the bar is inside a little library with about 20 hidden seats. Get the French Toast or the Curry special.

Italian is better than anything you have had outside of Italy. Pasta is always al dente- sauce is always fresh. Japanese Italians can be quite pretentious. Go for lunch. Southern Italian- Elio Locando in Hanzomon (a lot of fun- saw the owner of the red Sox there last year). Northern Italian- any upscale suburb like Jiyagouka, Ebisu, Naka-Meguro.

Shibuya is fun; good food is hard. Pricey but good with a great view bar is Legato.

The best restaurant in Tokyo that is affordable is Cicada in Minami-Azabu. High end Mediterranean Tapas and a great environment. Half Japanese customers/half high end foreigners. Works for everybody; Dates, business, families, celebrations......New York chef, Japanese servers all with great English ability and nothing touristy about it. CAN"T GO WRONG HERE.

Japanese Pork Cutlet- (Tonkatsu)- Meisen near Omotesando. Big place. A classic serving a classic dish. Great for Sunday night with a beer to decompress and go over the past weekend.

Dec 23, 2009
jet lagged in Japan

Best Indian

Masala Art in Needham is the only one that is truly special but it is expensive. Punjab in Arlington is good as is Tanjore in Harvard Square. Diva and Namaskar have turned into junk. Had an inedible weekend buffet at Bhindi Bazzar near Newbury Street this summer.