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Ten Commandments of Sushi

It's a fondly written piece and well deserved: the place is awesome and it's about time it got some love since it's not usually that busy.

He's not kidding about the pace: at lunch he serves massive pieces really fast, and will remind you to take a drink with each. I usually keep going after the set menu, and the drinking doesn't stop. You will leave very full and quite drunk. My routine is to have lunch there and then try to walk it off on the way to Sarutahiko in the hope that a coffee will clear my head; otherwise it's nap time.

Regarding the shari: it's verm warm, almost Nozawa-like in temperature, and it's quite wet once he's dowsed it in nikiri. Ginza-style it ain't. But it's frikkin' delicious.

Attached is a photo of "beautiful master" - Yajima-san's own words, he's a riot - from two weeks ago.

Apr 02, 2015
stravaigint in Japan
2

Tokyo and Kyoto plan

Email your hotel concierge and ask them to book for you.

Also, I just realized you're staying in Shinjuku. Asagaya is actually much closer to you then, only 10-15 mins on the train.

Jan 20, 2015
stravaigint in Japan

Kansai trip report (Kyoto/Osaka)

No JL-esque pictorial?

I'm always astounded by the price-to-quality ratio, even when the dollar wasn't quite so strong. What you get over there just makes SF/LA prices (and stars) look silly.

I've seen pics from Kuromon on IG, just search for #kamatoro. It's quite popular with a certain, um, segment of bloggers...

Jan 14, 2015
stravaigint in Japan

5 days in Tokyo - Want to eat lots of sushi!

Ninisix, I am reminded that I owe you a thanks for Yajima. I visited last year and it was a pleasant change of scenery (and price) from the Ginza/Roppongi sushi-yas, so much so that I'll be returning very soon. Yajima-san and his wife were lovely, both spoke a little English, and they're quite well traveled. The pace was a little unnerving at first - he works really fast, like Jiro-fast, and encourages drinking at the same pace, so I was blasted by the end of lunch, but it's a lot of fun. It's also incredible value, 3,200 yens for the lunch nigiri set. This time I hope to visit for dinner :)

Jan 14, 2015
stravaigint in Japan

Tokyo and Kyoto plan

Gargle and Ninisix have commented on Namba and Miyaha before, but since I recently booked both of them I'll save you the leg work.

Namba is in Asagaya, about 40 mins west of Tokyo by train. It's only open for dinner, and the set menu is 11,000 yen, cash only (don't forget drinks and tax). I'm doing the early 6pm seating to leave plenty of time for izakaya hopping after.

Miyaha is in Hamamatsucho, a short hop southwest of Ginza on the Yamanote. They have two set menus for lunch, one at 3,000 yen and another at 5,000 yen. Dinner is *way* more expensive. Stick to lunch.

It's also worth looking at Sagane in Shinjuku, also recommended by Ninisix.

For the rest, you'll need to search more on here. Plenty of posts by various people about izakayas, especially by Robb S, who also runs the fantastic bento.com. Just drill down by area.

http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1319/A13190... -- Nanba
http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1314/A13140... -- Miyaha
http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1304/A13040... -- Sagane

Jan 14, 2015
stravaigint in Japan
1

2014 - Best Sushi Omakase

4-on-6 is right in Encino.

And my dinner at Iki tomorrow night isn't looking good, unless I can find a rubber dinghy, cos they aren't flying in this wind.

Dec 11, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

2014 - Best Sushi Omakase

"O-toro kama...chunk of seared cheek"

Kama is collar, hoho is cheek.

Keep up the great reports!

Dec 11, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

2014 - Best Sushi Omakase

I once did Shunji at noon and Kiriko at 1:30pm. Not full omakases, but I still had to be rolled out the door.

Dec 11, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Guerrilla Tacos Revisited (A Photo Story and Review)

Where's Dommy?

#unmuzzlekevin

Dec 10, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Mori Sushi: Still Sushi Perfection

I spy Nori-san at Kusakabe. You know he painted those walls and built the shelves himself (with Ken and Daisuke)? Like the place a lot, but you're right, it's not Mori, whatever the Michelin inspectors might say.

#unmuzzlekevin

Dec 09, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

2014 - Best Sushi Omakase

Go's Mart is the opposite of fancy. It's like the anti-Urasawa. But nobody go's to Go's for the decor.

#unmuzzlekevin

Dec 09, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

2014 - Best Sushi Omakase

My recent dinner omakase at Kiriko with TheOffalo and chrishei worked out at ~135pp for food. But then the white truffle ice-cream wasn't available yet :P

#unmuzzlekevin

Dec 09, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

2014 - Best Sushi Omakase

Was the rice consistent throughout the meal? If so, hooray for them.

I thought only CB skipped dessert?

Looking forward to the remaining reviews.

#unmuzzlekevin

Question for sushi expert ninisix! other experts advice welcomed!

No kidding about the salty shari at Kakutou! And I found the rice very warm, they gave it no time to cool at all.

The set menu at Kakutou was 11,550Y, in case OP still cares.

Dec 04, 2014
stravaigint in Japan

Obana vs. Kabuto + a sushi question...

Ninisix, Nagayama-san was still working the lunch shift in February of this year. Did this change since then?

Nov 21, 2014
stravaigint in Japan

Commonwealth SF Report

Melanie, next time call ahead and reserve the end-most counter seats (in front of the kitchen) and the "extended" tasting menu. It's even more fabulous, and it's still a relative bargain.

Crystal Jade, Embarcadero Center, San Francisco.

The one at Taka on Orchard has been on a long downhill slide. I was back last Christmas, and while it wasn't bad, it's gotten slightly worse each time.

I was also at the one in Apgujeong this year, and it was just plain mediocre. XLB and other dishes were limp, and they were stingy with the tea.

Tuesdays with Mori

That's one heck of a place to have your first omakase. Rice-wise, you're not going to find much better. Did Yoshi-san make the whipped tofu dessert for you?

Nov 19, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

2014 LA meal of the year. Where was it? What was it?

I went in February but neglected to report on it. It was incredibly memorable. The napa cabbage and shrimp dish, with Luther's homemade XO sauce, is probably the best thing I ate this year. There were some misfires and logistical issues, but they'd only been operating for a few weeks. I expect by now they've ironed out the kinks.

Nov 17, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

2014 LA meal of the year. Where was it? What was it?

Xian Wei.

A Tale of Two Shinjis

I was dragged kicking and screaming by some friends a few months back to Roscoe's over on Gower. Never again.

Nov 05, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

A Tale of Two Shinjis

I like how google maps tags it: "Quirky fast-food spot with outdoor seats". I'll be napping on one of those seats.

Nov 05, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

A Tale of Two Shinjis

I'm 0/2 so far on the desserts. At least they always have tamagoyaki.

Nov 05, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

A Tale of Two Shinjis

Sign me up for the teriyaki beef burrito with fried egg gut bomb.

Shamefully I've never visited Oki-Shinji, but between your report and kevin's recent "Ode to Oki", it's moving up my list (along with a pattie melt at Pann's, which for some strange reason I'm obsessing over).

Nov 04, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

A Tale of Two Shinjis

Kiriko-Shinji is elegant and refined right up until the moment he teases you about the uni ice-cream...which they're out of. He cracks me up. Lots of love for him.

Handsome Cofffee DTLA , has it finally closed and the changeover took place already ?????

chrishei reminded me to check this place out.

They made my flat white from Sightglass' Owl's Howl, which is on the lighter side. No sourness, and the foam was fine, but not excellent.

The ham & cheese croissant from Sugarbloom Bakery, however, was stellar. I'm almost okay about not trying the kimchi/spam croissant that everybody raves about. Flaky and tasty.

Oct 30, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

G and B, mocha, not the usual.

I love the counter, the open space, the vibe and the service. I even love their hoppy, fizzy tea (thanks chrishei!).

I just don't love their roast.

But thanks to your write up, I'm willing to give the mocha a shot. Maybe with the ganache and syrup it'll be a revelation.

Oct 29, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Food better at GCM or at Ferry Building? [moved from LA 1st Timer thread]

I like Boccalone and, on Farmer's Market days, 4505 Meats. Otherwise I'd rather eat at GCM.

Coffee-wise, G&B and BB make equally shitty flat whites, but BB has Liege Waffles, so it's slightly in their favor.

Oct 29, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Dinner Omakase at Kiriko: A Pictorial Essay

I've only had two ways - tartare and soup. But it was at the Truffle Gohan(TM) dinner, so I'm not complaining.

Oct 29, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Dinner Omakase at Kiriko: A Pictorial Essay

This from the guy who just "pops" into Shunji for kamatoro.

How are those baby snow crabs he posted?

Oct 28, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area