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Baltimore Hound looking for best Tokyo sushi, kaiseki and izakayi

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My husband is going to Tokyo on Sunday. He's been there twice. He liked Sasashin a LOT...and Tsukiji Sushi Ko. He's looking for more and better this time. He's with colleagues who probably won't go over $120 per person though. He's adventurous and tends to hate typical tourist traps with American menus. Please help me to help him!!

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  1. Anyone? He's there now...and "found" Sasahin again (stumbled upon it quite by accident - he was happy). But he's looking for something new. And he's with an adventurous co-worker for a change...can someone please help with some sushi or kaiseki finds?
    thanks!

    5 Replies
    1. re: sistereurope

      I'm a native Marylander, so I guess I have sort of a duty to give in and say what we are all thinking-

      Sistereurope, please use the search engine. There are many passionate chowhound reviews of places of the type you are looking for- many of them from the last year. This isn't as populated a board as others (NYC, DC-Balt, etc.) where people will keep responding to the same "best sushi" and "best izakaya" requests" over and over. At the risk of sounding cold, but meaning to be supportive- try either the search function or scrolling down the last several months of Japan posts. You're sure to find some gems and true chowhound finds. And I mean that most sincerely.

      1. re: Silverjay

        OK...sorry Silverjay. We actually did spend some time searching the Board before I posted. I guess I should have re-phrased my question to state that he likes those places I mentioned and asked if anyone knew of any place similar but better than or just as good as those places (thinking that it might give people some idea of his likes/dislikes). I understand that Best Of questions are broad and hard to answer.
        And for the Kaiseki, every review we saw for Tokyo seemed more expensive and as I mentioned his colleagues probably won't spend more than $120. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

        Maybe we just read the wrong posts when we searched...we did have fun reading some of the posts, and I actually remember reading some of yours. You seem very knowledgeable.

        But I will be sure to just keep searching on my own next time.

        1. re: sistereurope

          Good luck....I'll be down in B'more this summer sometime, so maybe I'll hit YOU up for recs.

          1. re: Silverjay

            And I would be MORE than happy to tell you where to find THE BEST crabs in Baltimore...

          2. re: sistereurope

            All me a short comment on the idea of "best sushi." This is something that you can't just show up and order. The best sushi (for your tastes) is the product of the relationship that you cultivate with a sushi chef working in a place where you are a regular. Regular customers get the best treatment, the best cuts of fish (for what they are willing to spend) and the best advice. If you are a first-timer, the sushi chef doesn't know you or what you like. Only after regular visits over a year or more does the chef-customer relationship really click in. It can happen more quickly if you can come in a lot more often, but that takes a lot of money over a short period of time.

            That said, if you are a visitor you can still get great sushi by setting the bar as high as you can afford and going to an expensive place. In my experience, if you go to Kyubeh in Ginza, for example, and are willing to drop around 6,000 to 10,000 yen for lunch, you are going to be getting some pretty great sushi, though it is not quite "the best."

            A word of advice: "omakase" is a practice between regular customers and the chef, not newcomers because the chef has no idea what you like. I was in a sushi place in San Francisco several years ago and some well-meaning friends had arranged an "omakase" in which the small amount of good, expensive sushi wasn't eaten by most of the Americans present, who instead gobbled up the ordinary, inexpensive pieces. The chef rolled his eyes, but didn't sustain too much damage because what he ended up putting out was worth about half of what he charged. If you are a newcomer to a sushi shop, and you say "omakase" you might as well say "go ahead, rape my wallet." If you are a regular, the story is entirely different.