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eating in Japan


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starting next week we will be in Tokyo, Hakone, Hiroshima and Kyoto. We are very excited! If you have any do not miss restaurants please let me know.   I'm on the wait list for Molecular Tapas Bar

if you're going to Kyoto, maybe this piece on Kyoto will be useful , including food here- by a friend who lived there (and also used to work FOH at 15 East & Ducasse)   no idea how useful/usele

hi, just saw this. yes, i met her here in NYC and she's terrific. We worked on an event together (or, rather, volunteered for). When i first met her she was Karla Yukari

Yes. I have thoroughly enjoyed my three meals at Yoshitake. You need to be sure to request a seat at the counter. I have seen 'foreigners' shipped to a little back room. It is about the same amount of food as Sawada.

 

Counter seating - good tip. I'm a bit worried about amount of food - but would be cool to try a new place. Thanks.

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Most of the high end places have smaller lunch sets, if that's an option for you.

 

Yeah, we'd make that work if that's the way to do it, so that's an option. Although "set" suggests we might get stuff other than sushi? But I'll check it out, sounds like a potential option, thank you.

 

Seems like high end a la carte sushi isn't so much of a thing, which makes sense. I need a L'Ambroisie of sushi basically - the Sushi equivalent of a place where you can make a reservation, speak English, split an appetizer, get a single main course, skip dessert for the most part and not leave stuffed.

 

edit - a search shows Sushi Saito lunch, and Mizutani as an option too. Nice, thanks.

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I never care if people in a restaurant in Japan don't speak English. In fact, it appears I endear myself in such circumstances when I try getting the names. Chefs or staff members usually know the English words for various products. Key words that go a long way are "Matsui Hideki", "Suzuki Icharo" and, especially now, "Tanaka Masahiro".

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Most of the high end places have smaller lunch sets, if that's an option for you.

 

Yeah, we'd make that work if that's the way to do it, so that's an option. Although "set" suggests we might get stuff other than sushi? But I'll check it out, sounds like a potential option, thank you.

 

Seems like high end a la carte sushi isn't so much of a thing, which makes sense. I need a L'Ambroisie of sushi basically - the Sushi equivalent of a place where you can make a reservation, speak English, split an appetizer, get a single main course, skip dessert for the most part and not leave stuffed.

 

edit - a search shows Sushi Saito lunch, and Mizutani as an option too. Nice, thanks.

 

 

Given the destruction, suffering, personal sacrifice and financial risk that each high-end edomae nigiri represents today, the locals really don't view this as a casual a-la-carte snack :)

 

Saito is unlikely but there are really many lunch set options, often with only nigiri (e.g. Sushi Iwa http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2014/08/05/food/sushi-iwa-high-end-michelin-starred-sushi-at-a-medium-price/ and they speak English as does Sushiya)

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How can you trust a guy like Swinnerton when, so far as I can tell, he never has a bad word about any place? Maybe he visits several places for each one he writes about, and those that he does achieve some kind of near-perfection. Maybe his bosses tell him never to practice anything except what I call Home on the Range journalism. As I am brand new to him, tell me if I am wrong and who or what can you rely on. I love Japan eating-planning. It is challenging to say the least. However, you pay a lot for a bad choice with little or no opprtunity for, since the Japanese are golf nuts, a Mulligan.

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Well, I provided the link for detail rather than authority. I don't disagree that the editors of The Japan Times are probably in the market for good news, and good news only - not a policy I support but then I'm recommending places of the Kanesaka school, which is hardly my favorite, because they're completely legitimate and meet changeup's requirements (would it help anyone if I said none of my regular places does a small lunch in English?)

 

Tabelog is a good place to start for Japanese food, and there are many other quite reliable magazines and guides, but not much in English. Michelin is okay at best.

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Orik, did you spend the night at Ryokan Akune? Do you know about lunch there? In the hierarchy of meals, how did it rank? The pictures look fascinating and daunting at the same time.How are the rooms? One black roof is below my comfort level. Also, I have my eye on a spiffy ryokan in Yufuin.

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Okay, so much for that. Otherwise, it's an engrossing challenge in trip planning; one of those at which you spend more time planning than executing. I like the way people call Tokyo the restaurant capital of the world because of its 80,000 (or however many) restaurants while ignoring the fact that eight or ten of its restaurants could fit in one of ours.

 

I ran through the blogs that Ori listed. In general they seem pretty useless. They just simply reinforce the fact that the bar to "reviewing" restaurants is exceedingly low. I concur with Ori nonetheless that Tablelog is the one best resource--kind of a Trip Advisor revved up, what with its hundreds or more photos of dishes illustrated in a single restaurant. (Of course lots of the pictures show the same dish). At least it sorts things out, and if you spend enough time viewing it, you can probably do a respectable job of finding the right places for however long you're going to be in a town or city. I've been going to Japan off and on since 1983. Because I often do business there, I have befriended some food-savvy people, and they also took me to good places which meant that I wasn't guide-book dependent. However, the restaurant business there seems to be what ideally it should be in most other places. In other words little or no greed, a respect for tradition, and a real love of customers and obtaining the best products.

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