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Hiroo Restaurant Recommendations and Log

d
dgpeters Feb 10, 2010 11:52 PM

I'll be staying in Hiroo on and off for the next six months. I know there is much only a short train ride away, but some nights you just want a short walk to dinner or just have time for a quick lunch. Searched the board and not much on Hiroo.

I'd appreciate any recommendations for Hiroo and will settle for any close by in Ebisu. As payback I'll add to this entry the restaurants we hit over our stay here.

  1. d
    dgpeters Mar 8, 2010 01:14 AM

    Ramen

    There are a few ramen places right in Hiroo along the shotengai and elsewhere, but if I want ramen I walk down the Meiji Dori towards Ebisu station to Ippudo. I have not had that much ramen, but I did hit Ivan Ramen and there shio ramen around the holidays.

    Ippudo has tonkotsu ramen, so if you like that it is worth a try. I see that is mentioned numerous times on these boards.

    1. d
      dgpeters Feb 23, 2010 08:12 PM

      Soba

      Ok, I admit I'm a soba fanboy. I prefer it tsumetai/cold and pookie prefers it warm in the winter, so we get one of each. I could eat it every day for lunch and will always try a new soba place.

      So far I've found three very local in Hiroo. It is hard to compare soba places because some are very simple, inexpensive places and others are more upscale. So I rate them based on how they rate with others from the same strata across the Tokyo area. From worst to first:

      3. Hakone Akatsukian - This is close to the station, on the second floor just a bit from Partenope. Is it possible for tsumetai to be served too cold? This place seemed to and maybe that killed the whole thing for me, especially since this place was on the pricey side for soba. The soba in duck soup was not especially good either.

      2. Sawacho - Right around the corner from the soup place and Hiramatsu close to the station. This is a classic, low cost, no frills soba place. 650¥. I wouldn't take anyone else here, but it is an acceptable, cheap, quick lunch.

      Best [so far by far]: Tajima - this is close to the Chinese embassy, a bit past the park and easy to walk right by. The noodles were thin and made from 100% soba flour. They had a nice lunch that included rice with bamboo shoots [spring is coming] and a few other small vegetable plates. The star was the basic vegetable soup that the warm soba came in, great flavor and light. Pookie raved about it, and she rarely does that.

      On prior trips I went to Matsugen on the Hiroo side of Ebisu, and for me that was slightly better and my current local first choice for their inaka soba.

      4 Replies
      1. re: dgpeters
        d
        dgpeters Mar 8, 2010 01:08 AM

        Soba Update

        Toshian on the way to Meguro is the best so far for inaka soba, imo. Even better than Matsugen on Meiji Dori. They also have some interesting soba varieties if you want something different. Pookie had a yuzu flavored soba that was refreshing and good for a few mouthfuls, but too much for me to eat a whole basket of that.

        Also, back at Matsugen I tried what they call rin soba. I could not get a good explanation of this even in Japanese. It is somehow the first kernel or first something from the plant. Anyway it is very light in color, thin noodles, and very tasty.

        1. re: dgpeters
          kamiosaki Mar 8, 2010 03:06 AM

          For Toshian, are you talking about this place:

          http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A131602/13001587/dtlrvwlst/1177301/

          Also in the Ebisu area, if you are a soba fiend, I recommend you try this place:

          http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1303/A130...

          Personal favorite is the thick cut gomadare soba (the one in the lower right).

          1. re: kamiosaki
            e
            exilekiss Mar 8, 2010 08:07 AM

            Hi kamiosaki,

            The gomadare soba looks wonderful. :) Thanks. Is this your favorite Soba-ya in Tokyo?

            1. re: exilekiss
              kamiosaki Mar 9, 2010 04:38 AM

              Yes it is my favorite - but I'm not actually a soba fiend myself so I have only been to maybe 10 soba places in all of Tokyo. So while clearly I'm not an authority, I can say that Kaori-ya is very much to my liking.

              I actually eat more soba at home than outside - I like my soba (and udon) really thick and undercooked. I used to order it from Yoshida Udon but haven't placed an order with them in a while.

              http://yoshida-udon.com/soba/sovana.html

      2. d
        dgpeters Feb 23, 2010 04:40 PM

        Tonkatsu

        Hit Butagumi this weekend based on a Chowhound post. It is about a 15 minute walk up Gaien Nishi from the train station. My first tonkatsu. It was everything they said it was, delicious and filling. I'll go back for lunch because that much meat at night sat in my stomach, but it was worth it.

        See a lot more info at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572357

        1 Reply
        1. re: dgpeters
          l
          lost squirrel Feb 23, 2010 09:05 PM

          Next time see if they have the chicken wing confit - very delicious! But it seems they're often sold out - good luck.

        2. l
          lost squirrel Feb 18, 2010 09:02 PM

          A fun izakaya near Ebisu is Kurobutaya. It's somewhat closer to Hiroo than Chinois, on the opposite side of the street (as far as I remember). It's quite cheap, friendly and they specialize in black pork.

          http://www.bento.com/rev/2230.html

          http://www.cardenas.co.jp/kurobuta/

          1. d
            dgpeters Feb 18, 2010 03:51 AM

            Fukudaya, a very small fish stand on the Hiroo shotengai also serves a basic lunch with fish, miso soup, some seaweed and small veggie plates. They serve mostly cooked fish, whatever is freshest and some items get sold out after 1, and a sashimi plate.

            I'm told this place is somewhat famous for the locals and has been there quite a while. A speciality is their gindara, which is what I had today. Excellent and a nice lunch for 1100 Yen.

            Thanks for all the suggestions and warnings. Keep them coming.

            1. g
              GeorginaBallerina Feb 17, 2010 10:30 PM

              +1 on Partenope (and also for Jackpot on the cheap and cheerful side). Also near Partenope at Hiroo Stn (so not Hiroo proper as I understand it) is Salsita - good for passable Tex Mex by Tokyo standards.
              But real reason for my reply is to steer you away from a restaurant called Il Buttero off the shotengai at Hiroo Stn. Used to be ok, but recently gave me my singular worst dining experience to date in Tokyo (service-wise and food-wise and zero recovery on both). Looks pretty from the outside - stay far, far away.

              1. h
                hello_liza Feb 17, 2010 10:17 PM

                I went to Cardenas Chinois on Sunday (http://www.bento.com/rev/0295.html) and really enjoyed it. It's sort of midway between Ebisu and Hiroo, I think. The course price was 4,500 yen and I thought the food was more sort of general Asian fusion rather than just Chinese influenced. Funny to see a nomihoudai casualty in such a nice place -- one poor diner ended up on the floor and had to be carried out!

                I like Jackpot on the west side of Ebisu station (http://gourmet.suntory.co.jp/shop/0334765560/index.html). The food is all over the place, which I like, big portions, fun staff, and really reasonable prices.

                And it doesn't get anymore cheap and cheerful than Aalawi in Ebisu (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bi...). Maybe a good quick or take-away lunch if you are working in Hiroo.

                1. t
                  ttj Feb 15, 2010 11:41 PM

                  Talking about Hiroo restaurants, I am wondering if anybody has comments on Harmonie in Nishi-Azabu or La Bisboccia in Hiroo (both are maybe 10 minutes from Hiroo station by walking).

                  1. d
                    dgpeters Feb 13, 2010 11:14 PM

                    Found our first Hiroo neighborhood place that will be a frequent haunt. Yama Fuji on Gaien Nishi Dori, second floor very close to the Exit 1, Hiroo Station. Hard to describe the food since they had a bit of everything, yakitori, sushi, vegetarian dishes, etc. We had some beef, pork, and chicken along with a couple of vegetable plates [they pride themselves on their unusual and very fresh/organic veggies and meat that is "non-chemical"].

                    Very comfortable atmosphere, and nice size, seats about forty. We spent about $3,000 Yen sans drinks, although Pookie is a small eater. Could easily spend 5K Yen for bigger eaters. Try it out.

                    1. s
                      sg_foodie Feb 11, 2010 02:11 AM

                      Les Vinum is a great little sumiyaki place with a very good and interesting wine list: http://www.les-vinum.com/english.htm

                      1. Robb S Feb 11, 2010 02:06 AM

                        Angolo has excellent Italian. Restaurant J is international/modern French from a veteran chef of Stellato who trained in France. Grape Choice is a great little wine bar with good food. Cicada has all kinds of Mediterranean - Greek, Spanish, Moroccan, with a decent wine list. Brasserie Manoir (French) has good game meats and birds. Lohotoi has nice weekend dimsum. Depending on where you are in Hiroo, a lot of things are closer than you might think - parts of Ebisu, Shirogane, Nishi-Azabu - so definitely consult a map.

                        Here's a map of restaurants within about a ten-minute walk of Hiroo station: http://bento.com/gmaps/nearest.html?l...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Robb S
                          d
                          dgpeters Feb 12, 2010 12:45 PM

                          I went to Restaurant J on Christmas and wrote up my thoughts, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/676468. Looking forward to trying it again with their normal menu.

                          Thanks for the recommendations.

                        2. t
                          ttj Feb 11, 2010 12:17 AM

                          Partenope, a nice neighborhood pizza place.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ttj
                            d
                            dgpeters Feb 12, 2010 12:49 PM

                            Tried Plates for pizza because it was just so close and the cold rain was too much. I entered with some high hopes because the wood burning oven looked inviting. So I was disappointed that pizza crust was not crispy or done enough for me, which is one of the best parts of a good pizza. I know this is a matter of taste, and one man's crispy is another man's burnt. The pickled vegetables and other small dishes were ok, but nothing special.

                            On to Partenope next time for pizz.

                            1. re: dgpeters
                              d
                              dgpeters Feb 18, 2010 03:53 AM

                              Went to Partenope on Monday and it was certainly better than Plates. Crust was nice which is always the key to me, but still a bit soggy in the center. Good enough to try again.

                              Still there was a pizza place in Eifukucho that was a lot better.

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