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Apr 20, 2010 09:46 AM

Thoughts on either of these 2: Bo sonoIchi, Kozue at the Park Hyatt

We are considering both of these restaurants for an upcoming trip.
Does anybody have any experiences, opinions, or thoughts on these?

For context, the other nights in Tokyo will be:
Tapas Molecular Bar

Then, in Kyoto:
Kitcho Arashiyama

And, also, we have one extra unplanned night in Kyoto if you have a favorite to balance out the others.

(note, there are no sushi places on the list 'cuz my buddy can not eat raw fish, much as I love it myself).



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  1. Sono Ichi is kind of a date spot - the food is okay, but nothing special. The setting is glitzy but overall I found it a somewhat cold and sterile experience. When the bill came, it was just a price scribbled on a little slip of paper, like you were in some Ginza hostess bar.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Robb S

      I agree with last post who said food was nothing special. I had the same experience at Sono Ichi. Nancee J. Swartz

      1. re: Nancee Swartz

        This won't be a date, I'll be with my best friend. But, our other venues are more exclusively about the food and we are afraid that with the exception of kaikaya, all of them will be rather quiet and restrained.
        So we thought a loungey stylish place would be nice.

        Cold and sterile however, is not what I had in mind.

        Do you know of any cool loungey happening type places?
        Where the combination of food and atmosphere makes it worth the trip?

        1. re: pauliface

          Well there are a lot of stylish dining bars with good food, but I don't know if I would call them loungey. Then there are cafes that are very loungey, but they tend to have mostly limited, non-Japanese menus.

          Lois in Shinjuku station ( ) might be a good combo of loungey with Japanese food (if you don't mind brown rice), although it might not be all that exciting on any given night.

          Or maybe Ai Ai in Jingumae 2-chome - it's a very laid-back basement space with lots of odd nooks and crannies, and decent Okinawan food. ( ) Then you can pop in across the street for a drink at Mother Kurkku, which has a hip crowd and snooty service ( ).

          1. re: Robb S

            Mother Kurkku? Snooty service? More like downright incompetent. it is the only time I've walked out of a restaurant in Japan.

            1. re: Uncle Yabai

              Hi Uncle Yabai,

              Wow. Thanks for the warning. That's just sad.

              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                Mother Kurkku employs what might be the most incompetent restaurant workers in the known universe.

                Sorry I don't have anything to say about stylish places, but if you want a loud and fun place with good food, try some of the yakiniku joints around Okubo or Akasaka. Not a great atmosphere unless the smell of grilled meat, kimchi and garlic gets you going.

            2. re: pauliface

              You might also try a nice designer izakaya/ dining bar, like Hibiki or En, or a more down-home izakaya like Seigetsu - all with much better food and more fun than Kaikaya in my opinion. (Although others here might disagree.)

              1. re: Robb S

                Thanks, Robb, these izakayas might fit the bill.

                Now I have to decide, Izakaya or Kozue.

                1. re: pauliface

                  I'd skip Kozue - it's nice, but it sounds like you already have a lot of similar places on the itinerary.