Any opinion appreciated
Has anyone been to Cardenas Chinois? Cardenas Charcoal Grill? Robles Grill?
These looked like pretty interesting, somewhat casual california/Japanese fusion/wine bar type places. I will be in Tokyo in Oct and I was searching for good fusion restaurants near Hiroo for my non japanese meal. I don't want to go anyplace formal. Any help would be appreciated
Bit late for your original enquiry, but for the record... I haven't been to Robles Grill, but I have been to both the others. The Charcoal Grill is a very good straightforward grilled food with a good selection of wines and a stylish dining room which has recently been refurbished. Ideal for a date, entertaining clients or a special dinner. Cardenas Chionois, despite the name, is not really Chinese cuisine at all - I'd again call it fusion, but the great point about it is the price. One warm starter, one cold starter, a main course (there are normally at least 5 choices of each) plus a fixed dessert AND 'nomihodai' wine (you can get several glasses in if you ask politely) all for JPY 4,300 per head.... You might think that they'd cut corners on the food at that price but I can honestly say I'd pay twice the price of the course menu, without wine, if I had to. It's that good, and certainly one of the best bargains of Tokyo dining. The only drawback is its location a decent walk from stations between Ebisu and Hiroo, but it is without any doubt worth seeking out - and booking in advance is always a good idea, because they have no problem getting custom given what they offer. Enjoy.
I like both Robles and Cardenas Charcoal very much. Robles tends more towards dishes with complicated multi-ingredient, multi-line descriptions. Cardenas Charcoal is a little less casual, and a bit more expensive, although their wines are reasonably priced (for Tokyo).
In a similar vein, but perhaps more casual (and cheaper for wines), is C'zon in Ebisu (http://www.bento.com/rev/2556.html ).