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Jun 24, 2008 03:48 AM

I just can't decide

Hi all,

I've been paying for the Internet by the minute and after reading Chowhound and the Tokyo food page still can't decide. I'd like to take my friend out for dinner tomorrow or the next day.

I'd like to try and stay under ~20,000 total and we'll be based in either Shinjuku or Asakusa, but are willing to travel around. Am interested in anything Japanese or Japanese-ish, although less interested in straight up sushi as I just had some this morning at the fish market.

I know this is exactly the sort of post that everyone hates because it's super vague, but having all of these options is frying my brain and I'm hoping if I just get three or four suggestions I'll actually be able to decide on one of them!

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  1. Fish izakaya as silverjay will probably recommend.
    Kaikaya, as recommended before is a good bet. They have a nice sake selection as well as an English menu if needed.

    Edited for link:

    9 Replies
    1. re: lost squirrel

      Looks fantastic! Do you have any suggestions for finding it? I've spent my whole trip here completely lost, and the map on Kaikaya's site is a little vague.

      1. re: Lina

        The site seems to be screwed up so I will try to post an answer one last time
        Go to Shibuya station get out at the hachiko exit cross the street and head up bunkamura street toward 109 building when you see the 109 building cross the street and when you are on the same side as the 109 take a left heading up the dogenzaka slope. Walk untill you see a strange shaped police box and take a right on the street just past the police box that runs in front of it. walk for about 5 minutes until you see KAIKAYA on your right. the map says 10 minutes but I think it is more like 15-20 minutes from the station.

        1. re: steamer

          Wow, you really know Dogenzaka well. Spend a lot of time there, do ya?... Must be all them oysters you eat at Kaikaya ;)

          1. re: Silverjay

            Nah sometimes I work in Shibuya, I used to go to kaikaya for lunch before I knew it was a groovy Izakaya, they do a nice ribeye steak.

          2. re: steamer

            Well said. Once you get to the police box, there is a map outside as well. The police box is set back from the main street about 5 or 6 meters, so don't worry if, walking up the slope, you can't see it directly ahead. You have to get closer before it becomes visible.

          3. re: Lina

            I'm back! Thank you SO much for the recommendation and especially the directions. There is exactly 0 chance I would have found Kaikaya from the directions on their site. We went last night and had a fantastic time. In a city where everyone has been incredibly friendly, our waiter still managed to stand out (long hair in a ponytail, didn't get his name) for being so helpful. He made food and sake recommendations for us and was generally awesome.

            We started with new potatoes with bonita flakes, then had the deep-fried crab salad spring rolls, which were amazing. What I particularly liked about them was that they were listed in the salad section of the menu, despite being deep-fried. This is my kind of salad! We also had some sashimi and then a tuna and avocado tartar which was served with toasted bread. Then (I know, we're pigs), we had the shrimp and corn tempura which sort of sounds boring but was really really delicious.

            After continuing on with the sake for longer than was necessary, we were brought a complimentary sizzling scallion and octopus plate. All in all, it was a great meal--great food, atmosphere, staff, and directions! Thanks again, I really do appreciate the rec.

            1. re: Lina

              I'm glad you enjoyed it!

              I know exactly who you're referring to, he is the most genial and wonderful host I've found in Tokyo.

              1. re: lost squirrel

                That's Ippei, an all around good guy.

                1. re: steamer

                  i just went to kaikaya tonight after reading this post - thanks a lot! it was a really nice way to end a week of good eating in tokyo. i'm definitely recommending it to everyone i know who visits regularly. i had the amberjack sashimi, the bbq tuna "spareribs", which were amazing, and a gelato that they said was "japanese hops" if i heard correctly. with a beer and the keikachin-chu sweet fragrant olive sake. i also thought ippei was a really great host.

          1. only in Japan do they state the starsign and bloodtype of the staff on the restaurant's website... hahaha...

            7 Replies
            1. re: foreignmuck

              OK SilverJay and Lost Squirrel are officially the best posters here in Tokyo. Went to Kaikaya tonight....very good.....Ippei was not there tonight, we sat in front of the sashimi san ken. sashimi was fresh and Umai.....the kama was awesome....and the ebi corn age was really good....but the most interesting to me was the hotate risotto pancake...never had it like that before....really good....great rec.....a little bit of a hike cuz we parked in Seibu...

              1. re: dingaling

                I'm glad you liked it. I don't think I'm that useful of a poster, my recommendations tend to be all at cheaper places. I really respect the opinions of the other regular posters though, discerning palates!

                1. re: lost squirrel

                  Info on cheaper places is very useful, it's nice to have some balance.

                  1. re: deraumai

                    True, the expensive places are easy to find, but it takes some digging and luck to find good places that deliver real value for money.

                    1. re: steamer

                      Don't you give yourself a pat on the back when you find cheap and good????
                      always more rewarding.......

                        1. re: lost squirrel

                          Thanks, Iuck is for me too. I just made a reservation.