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mlbartender's Profile

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Tokyo Itinerary...Thoughts and Suggestions?...

Hi There,

As someone who lives in SoCal as well, I do understand you wanting to settle your craving for high end French gastronomy as the area is lacking in that department relative to the SF Bay Area and NYC. Tokyo is the the best city outside of France for French cuisine.

I would definitely recommend Pierre Gagnaire as I was there for dinner in June 2012. The great thing about Pierre Gagnaire's restaurants, unlike say Joel Robuchon, is that each location is unique by incorporating the ingredients and cooking techniques of the region the restaurant is in. There will be a huge Japanese influence present in the cooking and his chefs execute it so well of welding the two cuisines together to make an ideal harmony. Along with great food, sitting high up on the 36th floor overlooking the Tokyo Tower and the city is another great perk about the restaurant.

Another restaurant that I would suggest is L'As in Omotesando, Tokyo. Although much more casual, it has an enticing price of 5,000 Yen for both Lunch and Dinner of set menus only. Even though I haven't eaten there yet, it is on my list for my next Tokyo trip. It should have rave reviews for their French-Japanese cuisine. Here are some links along with their main site:

http://www.las-minamiaoyama.com/en/in...
http://tokyoeater.blogspot.com/2012/0...
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2012...
http://foodfile.typepad.com/blog/2012...

Aug 07, 2014
mlbartender in Japan

Ukyo in Azabu Juban

Thanks for the info! I've found out from your postings that you operate bento.com in which I'm a big fan of. I hope that maybe in the future that you could cover this place on your site :)

Aug 07, 2014
mlbartender in Japan

Ukyo in Azabu Juban

Thank you for your post. I hear that it was pretty popular from the blog post but then again, that's the only information in English that I could find. They do have a facebook page so maybe I hope that someone might communicate back in English. It's good that you've pointed out how there are more fruitier sake variants as I'm more either into very dry (Otokoyama) or subtle/complex ones (Kubota Manju). If you don't mind me asking, how was the food over there?

Aug 07, 2014
mlbartender in Japan

Ukyo in Azabu Juban

Hi, it's shown in the tabelog link I provided in my self reply. A slab of Foie Gras on a bed of rice; maybe even with truffles

Aug 06, 2014
mlbartender in Japan

Ukyo in Azabu Juban

Here is the Tabelog link for the restaurant: http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1307/A13070...

Aug 06, 2014
mlbartender in Japan

Ukyo in Azabu Juban

Hi Everyone,

As I was doing some research for a future trip to Tokyo, I came across a restaurant called Ukyo in Azabu-Juban in Tokyo from another person's blog: http://www.eataku.com/post/9125191870... . From the looks of it, it looks very delicious and obscene (in a good way with the overwhelming usage of amazing ingredients such as Truffles, Uni, Caviar and Foie Gras.

Have any of you guys dined there? How was your experience If so as they're nearby Roppongi, do they have an english menu and/or english speaking staff?

Aug 06, 2014
mlbartender in Japan

Orange county must eat

Hi there,
I know this other amazing hole in the wall restaurant if you're into sushi. At first when I started to live in Orange county, I was surprised how besides Mexican, Japanese and Vienamese cuisines are big in OC. The place I'm referring to is called Ikko in Costa Mesa. Besides some of their fusion dishes, they serve mostly traditional preparations of pre-seasoned sushi that calls for immediate eating when served and don't carry American-style rolls. They've even posted on their chalk board in the front where they would used to post specials saying that they don't serve these sort of rolls as many people would just flat out leave after looking at the menu. The first pic is a citrus vinaigrette carpaccio (must ask sushi chef directly for this as they've taken it off) with a fish imported from Kyushu, Japan called "chicken grant" (i know, weird name). Second pic: Maguro (tuna), Third: Albacore, Fourth: Toro (I think it's Chu-toro instead of the fatty O-toro). I've taken many friends to this place and they all love it. Even people who used to not like anything raw change their perspectives on sushi. Here's their address and reservations are highly reccommended: 735 Baker Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-7822

Jul 25, 2012
mlbartender in Los Angeles Area

Orange county must eat

For Mexican, I would travel to Santa Ana as they have a large, if not, the largest Mexican community in Orange County. Granted, it won't be as pearly as Laguna Hills. However, if you're looking for authentic tacos, especially al Pastor tacos with meat shaven off the shawarma/kebab grill, go to Taqueria 2 Guys. Here's a recent OC weekly article on the restaurant. http://www.ocweekly.com/2012-04-05/fo...

Also, the prices are really reasonable from around $1.29 a taco. After 5pm, the al Pastor tacos are only a buck each. Be sure to look at the other reviews on the net. Their really spicy Jalapeno salsa is amazing! The following pics are their al Pastor Tacos along with their special (all-meat) buritto for only $1 more (approx $6 total) with meat of your choice.

Jul 24, 2012
mlbartender in Los Angeles Area

Tokyo's Romantic Restaurants...

Hi there, I just came back from Tokyo and want to suggest a romantic restaurant. I had a posting on here about it but as it was linked to my blog, it was unfortunately taken down. Anyways, I want to recommend Pierre Gagnaire where it's at the 36th floor of the ANA Intercontinental hotel. It's a very fancy hotel and it views the entire city at that high of the level with an amazing view of the Tokyo Tower. As mentioned by others and yourself, the high-End Japanese restaurants aren't exactly the romantic type when it comes to atmosphere. At Pierre Gagnaire, the waiter thought I was being hasty and said it was alright to take your time and enjoy the meal. The service there is amazing and of course the food is too as well. I would recommend ordering the Apinac menu with the seasonal premium main course of the Japanese Beef Tenderloin topped with Uni. it's on their website if you google it. I hope this helps!

Jul 15, 2012
mlbartender in Japan

Kamatoro

Hi everyone,
I was Japan recently and with how much I saved up, I ended up going to Pierre Gagnaire as my big meal in Tokyo. If I had more money, I would have gone to one of the fabulous sushi restaurants in Ginza. Nevertheless, I had to eat sushi in Japan. Near my hostel in Asakusa, Tokyo; I went to a nearby standing sushi bar called Maguro-Bito (Kaminari-mon Branch). Maguro-Bito is actually a famous chain of conveyor-belt sushi-ya but these branches of standing sushi bars under the same name could be privately owned as I asked on the Japan-guide.com forums (http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quer... ) After I ordered o-toro, the chef ends up pulling out this amazing-looking piece of well-marbled tuna and said it was kamatoro, the fatty part located around the collar. It was extremely delicious and the best piece of toro I've ever had, granted never being at one of the high end sushi restaurants in Tokyo. After researching from here: http://www.sushiencyclopedia.com/blog... I found out that this amazing part of the tuna was even rare in Japan. Therefore, if you arrive in Japan looking for sushi, especially in Tokyo, ask for the kamatoro!

Jul 07, 2012
mlbartender in Japan