So long, and thanks for all the fish.
I'm coming up on less than week left here in Tokyo and I wanted to thank everyone for all the recommendations and discussion over the past few years. I've learned a lot, and I hope I've given a few bits of good advice as well.
I've been spending my last few weeks trying to remember all my favorite places and having final lunches at all my favorite cheap lunch spots. Norabow and Bistro Ishikawatei among the top contenders.
As anyone who knows me could guess, I just made my final reservations at Fuku for yakitori. It was my first 'really great' meal in Japan about 4 years ago and it'll be my last delicious adventure - a fitting end to my time here. I did make it to Aronia de Takazawa with the Aso and my cranky old Uncle Yabai. If anyone is hesitant, I highly recommend it.
I'll hopefully be able to keep up with this board in my absence, but I think I'll be spending most of my time in the Philadelphia board. If anyone makes it over the to the east coast of the US, please let me know.
PS - a final report back:
The Meat Sushi in the Ebisu yokocho was fun. I would go back with adventurous eaters. The akami, chutoro and negitoro (all with horse) were good but the real star of the meal was the sashi-toro. A small ball of rice is covered with a thin but very large piece of fatty beef that is then blow-torched and seasoned expertly. A dab of grated garlic tops off the whole thing. Aso easily convinced me to order a few more before our final check came. They don't take reservations, but the taisho and his helpers are pleasant and friendly once they understood we were there for the raw meat.
Sorry you're leaving! I've enjoyed reading your posts about the dining scene in Tokyo, and have often used them in my research for trips.
At least you're going somewhere with good food! I'm stuck in Prairie food-hell. No, it's not that bad, but sometimes it feels like it!
Good times! You will be missed. I am glad we managed the meat sushi before your departure. The sashi toro was definitely the best offering of the night, though anyone who has not had the pleasure of bazashi should go for the various cuts of horse sashimi (or rather horse sushi as they come in nigiri form) to see how different they are from one another. Don't worry if the taisho looks uncomfortable initially - as Squirrel says, he will relax when he realises you are there for the raw meat. I am guessing he may have had some not-so-positive experiences with gaijin who were surprised at the rawness of the meat they got served.
Squirrel - only have your old work e-mail - drop me a line with your new details.
Thanks for all the insight over the years. I've used many of your recommendations over the course of my annual Tokyo trips and will continue to do so this winter as well, adding Fuku and Norabow to the list. My fellow traveler Stefan, also a Philly native, spoke highly of you after sharing a meal (or two?) with you - I believe it was ramen and/or shabu-shabu with my friend Akemi,
Anyway, all the best.