Thoughts on the Gotham Grill in Ebisu?
It's just down the street from my house and thinking of giving it a try. Should I stick to a burger or a lunch set or is it worth 15K for two for steak dinners? How does it compare to Beacon? Is the wine served properly or is the red wine chilled like too often in Japan?
I was taken there once and liked the burger but it didn't blow me away like the burger at Union Square Cafe. I remember it being very good but I haven't been back in 6 mo. or so. Don't drink so I didn't care about the wine list.
We went to Gotham Grill about a month ago and a had some very delicious steaks. Unfortunately, they only had about 1100g of the dry-aged rib-eye left, so it was split amongst three of us. The birthday boy had a 600g cut and the other two had 250g portions. The smaller cuts did not do the meat justice. But the larger portion was incredible. The birthday boy couldn't finish it, so we were all lucky enough to have a bite.
The other 4 in the group settled on the NY Strip, which was good but didn't compare to the rib-eye's flavor and tenderness. One cool thing though was that the waiter brought out the raw NY strip to show us the crust of mold from the dry-aging process.
We're going back to Gotham Grill next week and calling ahead to make sure they have enough rib-eye for all of us.
As far as GG vs Beacon, I definitely prefer the atmosphere and wine list at Beacon compared to GG, but the steaks at both were excellent. I'd say Beacon is more high-end, with an extensive wine list to match. GG is much more casual and the focus is on the meat quality. Both are repeatable experiences.
37 Steakhouse in Roppongi (keyakizaka) is next on my list.
IMO GG is the second (but not by much) best burger in the Ebisu area - first on my list would still be Blacows on the other side of the tracks. But I'd be very happy to live down the street from GG though.
My favorite burger in Tokyo is the burger at Union Square Cafe at Tokyo Midtown.
That being said, I really like the Gotham Grill burger too.
I also like Burger Mania in Shirokane.
I tried the Blacows burger from take-out, and it didn't impress, but I need to try it in the restaurant. Take-out is not representative, I know.
re: Uncle Yabai
I hate to say this because I object to Union Square in so many ways, but the burgers - at least the patties - are very good. When I request medium-rare, the burger actually comes medium-rare - not something that happens as a matter of course in many Tokyo restaurants. The meat quality is very good, though the burgers are overpriced.
I would probably not go there if I paid for it myself, but it is located in the complex where I work so I end up there on occasion because of my firm's events, and if you are not forking out the 2,800 yen that the large burger costs, the actual product is very fine indeed.
A tip if you ever find yourself at Union Square with someone you dislike: recommend to him or her to try the BLT sandwich. It is a positively insulting offering which essentially consists of a lot of bread, with the BLT aspect of it being barely visible to the naked eye.
Also, make sure you have time on your hands: service is astonishingly slow.