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Top Gaijin eats or Non-Japanese foods in Tokyo

sonik212 Jan 18, 2011 09:50 PM

Hoping to start a decent list of places that us foreigners here in Tokyo like to hit up for some food that take our taste buds back to wherever we came from. In my case, off the top of my head those would be New York style Pizza and Pit BBQ. Both were almost impossible to come by until recently. In mid-2010 a NY style pizza place called Rocco's opened up in Oji, Tokyo and a bar that serves Pit BBQ (pulled pork and ribs, etc) and craft beer called Hato's bar opening in Nakameguro. Rocco's serves up a true NY slice of cheese pizza and Hato's bar serves up some great pit BBQ. Google them and you'll find them.

Anyone have other favorites they like to hit up for a taste of home?

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  1. r
    ruprecht25 RE: sonik212 Jan 19, 2011 12:37 AM

    For those of you who crave U.S. style BBQ, I can recommend the Bashamichi Taproom, which opened this past Saturday in Yokohama. It is the only restaurant I know of in the Tokyo/Yokohama area that offers authentic BBQ that is traditionally smoked over wood for several hours using low heat. I was there on Sunday and found all the BBQ meats plus the side dishes to be delicious.


    5 Replies
    1. re: ruprecht25
      sonik212 RE: ruprecht25 Jan 21, 2011 10:50 PM

      Love US style pit BBQ. I heard about that place and glad it opened up close to my work.
      I've been following their blog, so expecting some good BBQ.
      Hato's bar in Nakameguro was the first place I had true BBQ here in Japan.
      The guys that run the place are cool and I've got to give them credit for pulling it off.
      Their pulled pork (smoked with cherry wood) is impressive. Their ribs are great as well.
      They also have biscuits and gravy which was a nice surprise.
      Looking forward to trying bairdbeer/taproom's new BBQ place though.
      To me it's a long time coming for decent BBQ in Japan. Bubby's (the Yokohama branch of the TriBeCa/NYC Restaurant) is now serving "pit BBQ" according to an advertisement poster my friend saw, so I think this is the start of the US BBQ trend in Japan. Though I'm hoping it isn't just a trend.

      1. re: sonik212
        davey.c RE: sonik212 Feb 8, 2011 01:18 AM

        Another big thumbs up for Hato's bar from me.

        Like sonik says, the guys are really cool and the food is amazing. Only downside is it's a pretty small place and I don't want it to become too popular.

        1. re: davey.c
          ruprecht25 RE: davey.c Feb 8, 2011 02:59 AM

          I also tried Hato's bar last week for the first time. As mentioned by sonik and davey.c, the atmosphere is excellent and the staff and guests are really friendly. The beers change regularly - one of the IPAs I tried was great and the other beers were at least okay. I ordered the pork spareribs and the pulled pork sandwich. The sandwich was tasty. The ribs had nice flavor, but they weren't very meaty. I also give it a thumbs up and will definitely return to get my pork and craft beer fix.

      2. re: ruprecht25
        sonik212 RE: ruprecht25 Jan 31, 2011 05:16 PM

        Tried the Bashamichi Taproom BBQ in Yokohama last night.
        They have some decent BBQ and craft beers to wash it down.
        I tried the beef brisket sandwich and a slab of the "Fat" Japanese BBQ rib, both were great!
        However I found the pork sandwich to be a disappointment.
        They have 3 different BBQ sauces; mustard based, vinegar based and just plain BBQ.
        For pork I prefer Hato's Bar (Nakameguro) pork sandwich, which has never disappointed but glad to see places in Japan finally catching up with true US style BBQ. With the Bashamichi Taproom on one end and Hato's bar in Nakameguro on the other, the Tokyu Toyoko line should be dubbed the BBQ express. Still haven't tried Bubby's BBQ sandwich in the Sakuragicho/Minato Mirai area, but not in any rush.

        1. re: ruprecht25
          thesoulofjapan RE: ruprecht25 Nov 12, 2011 06:15 PM

          Bashamichi Combo Plate

        2. Robb S RE: sonik212 Jan 19, 2011 03:13 PM

          Wow, that's your third posting about Rocco's NY-style pizza place in Oji. You must really like the place!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robb S
            sonik212 RE: Robb S Jan 20, 2011 11:46 PM

            yeah...lol. It's been too long without NY pizza. I used to have it a couple times a week before coming out here and was pretty much raised on the stuff. I want people to know about it because I want them to stay around a while! Also I know a lot of foreigners say the same thing about pizza so want to make sure people know about the place. But, yeah... good slices that I can actually call NY style.

            1. re: sonik212
              gkanai RE: sonik212 Jan 27, 2011 12:19 PM

              Murray Hill represented!

              I hope you're right about Rocco's. Been wanting to have a NYC-style slice or three for many, many moons.

              I love the quality of a lot of the pizza in Tokyo (favorite is Savoy atm) but if Rocco's is as good as you say, I'll make the trek out to Oji.

              1. re: gkanai
                sonik212 RE: gkanai Jan 31, 2011 04:14 PM

                I used to hit up MIKE DUE on 3rd and 25th?... I'd say Rocco's is as good as most decent pizza joints in NYC. At least in my humble opinion.
                Yeah Oji is a trek for me too, but I think I need to make a trek this weekend. I'll have to hit it on a trip to Ueno or something. It's like 10-15 minutes from that area.

          2. j
            Jrim RE: sonik212 Jan 19, 2011 05:51 PM

            Lauderdale in Roppongi (http://www.lauderdale.co.jp) is good, though I'd be lying if I said it actually reminded me of home. I have American friends who insist that Pizzakaya (http://www.pizzakaya.com) is good for US-style pies, though I'd much rather go and get the Italian version elsewhere.

            If anybody knows where to get a good cheese pasty like they make them in Blighty, I'd be very interested to hear about it.

            1. s
              sonik212 RE: sonik212 Jan 20, 2011 11:50 PM

              Those looking for a decent burrito (like Chipotle) should check out Frijoles in Azabu Juban. The closest I've come across to "American-ized" Burritos. Good burritos. The size is a little small but that's Japan for you. Google them and you'll find them. English OK, in fact I think most of the customers that I'e seen there are foreigners.

              14 Replies
              1. re: sonik212
                Tripeler RE: sonik212 Jan 26, 2011 01:36 AM

                That's because most Japanese people will NOT eat beans that haven't been sweetened.
                This is why most Mexican restaurants in Japan can easily be declared "bean free" zones.

                1. re: Tripeler
                  MoGa RE: Tripeler Sep 20, 2011 08:39 AM

                  Yes, the Japanese aversion to grilled soramame (broad beans), tobanjan, daitoku-ji natto, edamame, miso and natto slathered in soy sauce and fiery mustard is well known.

                  1. re: MoGa
                    Tripeler RE: MoGa Sep 20, 2011 06:17 PM

                    Yes, you make a very good point. I suppose I should have said "beans in a western cooking format." Anyway, in most Mexican food served in Japan, beans play a very minor role, if any.

                    1. re: Tripeler
                      MoGa RE: Tripeler Sep 21, 2011 09:24 AM

                      I wonder if it's the perception of beans in tex-mex dishes as filling, stodgy foods that make lunch diners feel too bloated to work effectively afterwards and evening diners worried that they might become overcome with the urge to pass wind in the presence of their dinner dates. And I meant the word 'perception' here, I mean no disrespect whatsoever to real Mexican food (not the tex-mex kind so much) which I rate highly.

                      I'm afraid I've not visited any Mexican places in Tokyo, my father-in-law loves and appreciates Spanish cuisine and I've been with him to a range of Spanish and Portuguese restaurants, pretty much all of them had savoury bean dishes on the menu.

                      How about a feijoada (フェジョアーダ )
                      somewhere like Tucano's?
                      There seems to be a few other places in Tokyo that sell beans cooked in this way.

                2. re: sonik212
                  gkanai RE: sonik212 Jan 27, 2011 12:22 PM

                  Frijoles is good, but somehow doesn't make it to great. I'm not sure what they're missing. The ingredients are fresh, and I've tried almost all of the combinations, and they definitely satisfy the urge for quality Mexican fast food, and I go back regularly, but they're missing something- not sure what it is. Maybe a sauce or maybe a melted cheese something or...

                  1. re: gkanai
                    MoGa RE: gkanai Sep 20, 2011 08:40 AM

                    ... lard?

                  2. re: sonik212
                    ruprecht25 RE: sonik212 Mar 28, 2011 07:48 PM

                    Frijoles recently opened a second branch in the Piramide (Pyramid) Building in Roppongi.


                    1. re: sonik212
                      ninnikuramen RE: sonik212 Aug 20, 2011 02:55 PM

                      Libre in Aoyama is awesome - way better than Frijoles as the super burrito is actually substantial. The karaage next door was also pretty good.

                      1. re: ninnikuramen
                        Robb S RE: ninnikuramen Aug 21, 2011 03:23 AM

                        Oh I agree - Libre is much better. And the Korean karaage place is certainly interesting.

                        1. re: ninnikuramen
                          okanebones RE: ninnikuramen Aug 6, 2012 08:18 PM

                          Definitely agree that Libre is way better than Frijoles. But they are no longer in Aoyama. They now have a small shop in Ebisu (East exit -- right around where Good Day Books used to be). They now do a jumbo size which is a decent sized burrito even by American standards.

                          1. re: okanebones
                            Robb S RE: okanebones Aug 6, 2012 08:53 PM

                            Or, more specifically, here's a map: http://bento.com/gmaps/0782.html

                            They seem to have more salads too.

                            1. re: Robb S
                              okanebones RE: Robb S Apr 28, 2014 02:00 AM

                              They're not there any more. Does anyone know where they moved to? I think it's still in Ebisu. There's also a small place in Harajuku called Chili's that serves up an all right burrito, though it's kind of small. At least the guy making it speaks Spanish :)

                              1. re: okanebones
                                Robb S RE: okanebones Apr 28, 2014 04:56 AM

                                If "they" is Libre, they've moved to Taiwan. (Or at least they've opened a Taiwan branch, and closed their Tokyo shop.)

                                1. re: okanebones
                                  Tripeler RE: okanebones Apr 28, 2014 07:07 AM

                                  Chili's in Harajuku was so roundly disappointing on my visit that I never returned. Don't remember a Spanish speaker, just two half-Japanese women who couldn't explain much in two languages.

                        2. h
                          HubrisSonic RE: sonik212 Jan 28, 2011 04:23 PM

                          I like the tiny Kimono Grill near nogisaka, dinner is good and the brunch has real bacon.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: HubrisSonic
                            sonik212 RE: HubrisSonic Jan 31, 2011 04:03 PM

                            Never heard of the place but just punched it up on google. I like their menu. Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries.... nice. A lot on their menu sounds really good. Need to check them out at some point soon. Especially since they have a BYOB night on the first Friday of every month. Thanks for the heads up.

                          2. s
                            sonik212 RE: sonik212 Feb 13, 2011 08:55 PM

                            Chicken Fried Steak and Biscuits & Gravy are two Southern staples that I never would have thought I'd find in Japan. Although I was born and raised in NY these two dishes bring out the South in me I never knew existed. I used to frequent Cowgirl hall of Fame in NYC to get my fix of Chicken Fried Steak. Biscuits and gravy were occasional treats if I found myself down South or made it myself. Hato's bar (the BBQ place) now serves Chicken Fried Steak (Country Fried Steak on their menu to avoid any confusion for those unfamiliar with the dish) and Biscuits and gravy. The steak comes with mashed potatoes and a biscuit and is covered with the cream gravy (sausage gravy with chunks of breakfast sausage in it). For those who know what I'm talking about, check it out if you get a chance. Good stuff. Attaching a pict. Mind you the gravy is never something that looks very appealing but you'd be over that if you know what the stuff tastes like.

                            20 Replies
                            1. re: sonik212
                              ruprecht25 RE: sonik212 Aug 19, 2011 01:43 AM

                              Robbie Swinnerton reviewed Hato's Bar and Devilcraft in today's Japan Times. Devilcraft sounds like a good place if you are craving Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Anyone been there yet?


                              1. re: ruprecht25
                                Robb S RE: ruprecht25 Aug 19, 2011 07:30 PM

                                Yes, the pizza is very good there. And Hatos Bar has excellent barbecue.

                                1. re: ruprecht25
                                  NZJoe RE: ruprecht25 Sep 17, 2012 07:13 AM

                                  I went to a Laos place in Kichijoji recommended by Robbie Swinnerton, very highly, and man did it disappoint. I would not trust his reviews at all.

                                  1. re: NZJoe
                                    thesoulofjapan RE: NZJoe Sep 17, 2012 09:39 PM

                                    Well, when he said "Hatos" had excellent ribs, he lost me there. Hato's ribs are drowned in raspberry and ketchup and have no meat on the bones.

                                    1. re: thesoulofjapan
                                      Robb S RE: thesoulofjapan Sep 17, 2012 10:02 PM

                                      The name of the shop is "Hatos Bar," and I prefer their pork belly.

                                      But if you know of better BBQ in Tokyo, please do share - I would love to know.

                                      1. re: Robb S
                                        Markintokyo RE: Robb S Sep 26, 2012 07:22 AM

                                        Ribs, Tony Roma's - at least they are meaty, substantial, old-school yes but this is 'comfort food' not Michelin star cuisine. Heck, make that most USA menus around town, those ribs at Hatos are style over substance. This all being true, I echo other voices saying that Baird Beer's Taproom in Bashamichi has very good and authentic barbecue as a whole, whether on the bar menu or the huge individual Fat Boy Ribs for those that crave such a thing, that they grill for you one by one, price decided per 100g. I personally also like the Sakura smoked chicken.

                                    2. re: NZJoe
                                      wekabeka RE: NZJoe Sep 18, 2012 05:28 AM

                                      Reviewing is tricky, especially when it comes to something as subjective as food. For me, sometimes he's bang on and sometimes I'm utterly perplexed by his praise. But one thing is for sure, the man deserves a lot of respect as he has an incredible wealth of knowledge on the local dining scene.
                                      If you're looking for good South-East Asian fare, I would recommend you try ベトナムちゃん near Shin-Okubo/Okubo station....but feel free to disagree. (^_−)−☆


                                      1. re: wekabeka
                                        tokyodude RE: wekabeka Oct 17, 2012 01:51 PM

                                        If you looking some great Vietnamese "banh mi" sandwiches then I highly recommend. I've been going here since they opened in Jan of 2011. The one to get is the ham and liver pate for 500 yen (add avocados for 70 yen extra - goes well with the creaminess of the pate). They make everything themselves, and that ham isn't what you normal see. It's two types of cured ham. I thought the sandwiches I use to get in Seattle were good but this place is excellent.

                                        1. re: tokyodude
                                          Robb S RE: tokyodude Oct 17, 2012 07:21 PM

                                          I like their grilled pork sandwiches too. (Bahn Mi Sandwich in Takadanobaba)

                                          1. re: tokyodude
                                            wekabeka RE: tokyodude Oct 17, 2012 09:06 PM

                                            Know it well. Love that they have non-meat options, too.

                                            1. re: wekabeka
                                              tokyodude RE: wekabeka Dec 3, 2012 11:04 PM

                                              I found an interesting Chinese grocery shop in the same Shin-Okubo/Okubo area. In the basement they have all the dry goods stuffs. The real find was the sunflower seeds. They have a number of varieties and for an old school sunflower seed junkie, it was nice to find something local. Of course the tastes are a little different than the normal salt flavor back home but I found one brand i really like.

                                              Their website is here in Chinese and Japanese www.kkshop.jp They don't mention clearly about the shop but it's open til midnight. On the 2nd floor they have frozen goods (just stay away from the wan-chan special meat pack :)

                                        2. re: NZJoe
                                          foodfile RE: NZJoe Sep 28, 2012 09:58 PM

                                          @NZJoe Was this the review?

                                          1. re: foodfile
                                            NZJoe RE: foodfile Sep 30, 2012 02:58 AM

                                            Yep thats the one, 1000¥ for a sausage...and nothing else on the plate.

                                            1. re: NZJoe
                                              Robb S RE: NZJoe Sep 30, 2012 06:06 AM

                                              "man did it disappoint. I would not trust his reviews at all."

                                              OK, I will take the blame for that review, please don't blame Robbie S. I had three or four very good meals there, the last time in 2009 I think (and certainly the best Laotian in town at the time); sorry to hear if it has gone downhill since.

                                              I think Robbie and I do agree somewhat on Hatos though, and I'd still go for their BBQ over the (not-really-BBQ) ribs at Tony Roma's.

                                              1. re: Robb S
                                                Markintokyo RE: Robb S Sep 30, 2012 06:26 AM

                                                Tony Roma's was just a provocative example. The ribs at Hato's have hardly any meat on them and as a result are underwhelming and expensive. The smoke, marinade and sauce they use are excellent, but surely ribs are supposed to be satisfying and substantial comfort food. That is the ethos of barbecue. Hato's is otherwise an excellent place, a shame you normally need a reservation to get in, but absolutely worth going to.

                                                1. re: Markintokyo
                                                  Robb S RE: Markintokyo Sep 30, 2012 06:35 AM

                                                  Hmm, I've never noticed a paucity of meat, but maybe I've just been lucky, or you've been unlucky, or I've usually ordered with a combo of pork belly and pulled pork and side dishes, so I've been oblivious...

                                                  And I totally agree with you about the Fat Boy Ribs at Bashamichi; I just wish they were closer to town....

                                                  1. re: Robb S
                                                    foodfile RE: Robb S Oct 2, 2012 01:23 AM

                                                    Robb, have you tried the limited edition wild boar BBQ at Bashamichi?
                                                    Not sure how much longer it will be on for but it's well worth the trip -- especially with the specially-brewed Wild Boar brown ale to wash it down!

                                                    And me too, I like the ribs at Hatos -- yes, they're not huge -- and I like the place and the people.

                                                    1. re: foodfile
                                                      Robb S RE: foodfile Oct 2, 2012 01:53 AM

                                                      Thanks Robbie, and that wild boar BBQ sounds amazing! I was just down there at Bashamichi a couple of weeks ago too - wish I had seen it on the menu.

                                          2. re: NZJoe
                                            Uncle Yabai RE: NZJoe Sep 30, 2012 03:51 AM

                                            Wrong Robb. The guy you're looking for has posted on this very thread, so you can ask him about his reviews.

                                        3. re: sonik212
                                          thesoulofjapan RE: sonik212 Nov 13, 2011 10:31 PM

                                          Was just up that way the other night for the ribs, but chicken fried steak and biscuits...? I'll pass.
                                          I'm sure it's Japanized down to appeal to Japanese taste, like their ribs.

                                        4. n
                                          ninnikuramen RE: sonik212 Feb 14, 2011 04:30 AM

                                          Still on the lookout, however the best burgers I've had are at Brozer's in Njngyocho and on the more upscale side, the burger at Union Square Cafe. Brozer's really reminded me interior wise of this place called Burger, Shakes, and Fries in Westchester, NY (albeit with a brioche kind of bin instead of Texas toast). Definitely forgot I was in Tokyo for a minute or two.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: ninnikuramen
                                            Robb S RE: ninnikuramen Feb 14, 2011 07:24 AM

                                            If Brozer's is the best burger you've found in Tokyo, then please keep looking. I couldn't even tell if their burger was any good, the taste was so drowned out by the barbecue sauce. I could have been eating a turkeyburger and not known it.

                                            Martiniburger in Kagurazaka, which just opened a month or two ago, has a much better burger, but there are many others. I think there's a dedicated Tokyo burger topic around here somewhere.

                                            1. re: Robb S
                                              ninnikuramen RE: Robb S Feb 15, 2011 02:43 AM

                                              Thanks for the recommendation, will search the board for burgers as well, and continue looking around. You're right, the BBQ sauce did overshadow the beef taste. And if you go with the default lettuce, tomatoes, etc., that kind of minimizes the burger itself as well.

                                          2. s
                                            sonik212 RE: sonik212 Mar 27, 2011 07:43 PM

                                            Pastrami sandwiches...
                                            I recent saw an advertisement for SKY HIGH Pastrami Sandwich at Suji's in Azabu Juban. Has anyone had the Pastrami sandwich there? Or has anyone had a good pastrami sandwich or reuben sandwich in the Tokyo area? Hope everyone still here is doing alright considering everything going on...

                                            14 Replies
                                            1. re: sonik212
                                              Uncle Yabai RE: sonik212 Mar 27, 2011 07:53 PM

                                              Suji's? Wouldn't get my hopes up too much there. The place is highly overrated. Would be nice to find somewhere to get a good pastrami sandwich, though.

                                              1. re: sonik212
                                                gkanai RE: sonik212 Mar 27, 2011 08:41 PM

                                                Don't waste your time with Suji's. I've been a few times and always come away with the same impression: too expensive for what they serve by a long shot.

                                                1. re: sonik212
                                                  Robb S RE: sonik212 Mar 27, 2011 10:35 PM

                                                  M-one Cafe Delicatessen in Akasaka has good Reuben sandwiches.

                                                  1. re: sonik212
                                                    jem589 RE: sonik212 Mar 28, 2011 04:58 PM

                                                    This place Qino's in Hongo-3 looks like the business, but I can't steel myself to pay $15 for a pastrami sandwich despite that possibly being cheaper than in NY. Maybe today.

                                                    Agreed, no Suji's.

                                                    1. re: jem589
                                                      Robb S RE: jem589 Mar 28, 2011 09:58 PM

                                                      I've been there once (Qino's) but I don't think I'd make a special trip....

                                                      1. re: Robb S
                                                        jem589 RE: Robb S Mar 29, 2011 02:42 AM

                                                        Thanks. Glad I didn:t go today.

                                                    2. re: sonik212
                                                      sonik212 RE: sonik212 Apr 13, 2011 10:27 PM

                                                      Took a chance and went to Suji's in Azabu Juban/Roppongi area yesterday for their Wed night Pastrami special where you get an extra 100g of Pastrami for free. A total of 300g of Pastrami meat piled into a sandwich with Mustardy/mayo dressing (not too much to overpower anything) on toasted rye. To my surprise it was decent sandwich and would recommend it to anyone who is craving Pastrami. The meat was tender and pretty much melted in my mouth. A little bit too greasy though, but definitely would go again. Attached is a photo.

                                                      1. re: sonik212
                                                        Ninisix RE: sonik212 Apr 20, 2011 07:01 PM

                                                        Why not a little 'JambonFromage' and at 380yens is in the first place economic! With a vin chaud at Les Bacchanales. A 'baguette -sandwich' will be a simple quick after concert, cinema, ... At Les Bacchanales, the set will be at under 1500yens, at Viron's bread was harder and expensive..
                                                        My Japanese friends do follow me on this one, perhaps more for the 'vin chaud.'

                                                        1. re: Ninisix
                                                          NZJoe RE: Ninisix Sep 17, 2012 07:18 AM

                                                          Or the pate and cornichon baguette at Aux Bacchanales, very, very good but go with an appetitie and have some fries too. Viron brasserie is excellent, haven`t had the sandwiches down stairs but the bread served with the meal was decent. Japanese sirloin with jus, fries, roast vegies and creme brulee for dessert, all top notch, and a nice bottle of red, can`t beat simple pleasures like that.

                                                          1. re: NZJoe
                                                            lost squirrel RE: NZJoe Sep 22, 2012 06:41 PM

                                                            The sandwiches at Viron are probably the best in the country [in their category] - give them a shot.

                                                            I like the tuna (ancien ton?) and a few of the others. Puts Kobeya kitchen and the like to shame.

                                                            1. re: lost squirrel
                                                              Ninisix RE: lost squirrel Sep 24, 2012 04:10 AM

                                                              I have tried Viron sandwich 3 years ago, and it cost 700yens for a ham-cheese sandwich ! I thought it was too exspensive for a boulangerie that make his own bread !! the sandwich with tuna, is it with baguette bread? I might give that one another chance !

                                                              1. re: Ninisix
                                                                lost squirrel RE: Ninisix Sep 25, 2012 02:49 PM

                                                                700jpy, yes. BUT, it's the best ham and cheese in Japan (decent ham, comte cheese and nice butter).

                                                                The tuna is on the same baguette with lettuce. There are other tuna sandos, nicoise and so forth but the baguette is best.

                                                                1. re: lost squirrel
                                                                  Ninisix RE: lost squirrel Sep 26, 2012 03:48 AM

                                                                  Haha.. the best is better on slice of bread (tartine) ... but i will try the tuna sand.

                                                                  1. re: lost squirrel
                                                                    Ninisix RE: lost squirrel Nov 19, 2012 07:51 PM

                                                                    Baguette at Viron are good, I do buy some, from times to times... As for its tuna sandwich, finally I too too tempted, following your recommendation. So I tried, and I liked the mustard in it, nice point!! that gives the sandwich a nice salty touch that stands out.

                                                      2. s
                                                        sonik212 RE: sonik212 Sep 19, 2011 11:03 PM

                                                        Philly Cheese Steak?

                                                        Has anyone come across decent attempts at Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches in Tokyo?
                                                        I just found out about a place called "2 Papas" in Kichijoji, but probably won't be able to try it for a couple weeks. If anyone has any information, would appreciate it if you can post any details here.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: sonik212
                                                          davidenemy RE: sonik212 Sep 20, 2011 01:50 AM

                                                          I remember a place I went to years ago at some outlet mall, but I can't remember the name...

                                                          Not sure how good it is, but the Philly Cheese Steak is the sandwich of the month at Subway!

                                                        2. m
                                                          MoGa RE: sonik212 Sep 20, 2011 08:42 AM

                                                          Authentic Spanish rice dishes at the Ginza Espero.

                                                          1. n
                                                            nrt RE: sonik212 Oct 16, 2011 11:12 PM

                                                            I sometimes have odd cravings for western-style sushi (like california/dragon/rainbow rolls), and rainbow roll sushi in azabu juban does the trick every single time. and their mojito is probably my favorite mixed drink in all of tokyo (with a sugar cane stick as stirrer!)

                                                            1. thesoulofjapan RE: sonik212 Nov 12, 2011 06:09 PM

                                                              Went to Hatos last night November 13, 2011 and ate a whole rack of baby backs and chili fries.
                                                              If you love your ribs slathered in a ketchup(y) raspberry sauce, and you don't mind if they're a little skimpy on the meat that literally falls off the bone then this is the place for you. I personally think ribs shouldn't fall off the bone. There should be a little juiciness and resilience to the meat. The BBQ was basically good; not great.

                                                              The chili fries were outstanding as well as the shiga kogen craft beer.

                                                              It's a small hole in the wall dive in a very nice part of Tokyo - posh. I still think Taproom in Bashamichi is far better in every way. The ribs are outstanding and there's plenty of room for patrons.

                                                              1. n
                                                                NZJoe RE: sonik212 Sep 17, 2012 11:42 PM

                                                                Just went to a great Thai place last night. It`s called Tuk Tuk, in shin Ogikubo. Take the north exit from the station and walk to the left. Go past the Seiyu and walk about 3 mins. Its a small place on the left. Has about 15 counter seats, husband and wife team running it. No english menu but there are pictures. I just asked what they recommended and got the green curry, tom yum soup with chicken and vermicelli noodles and a vietnamese omellette. The tom yum was the best I have ever had, you could smell the lemon grass while they were putting it in the bowl. Green Curry was a little different from I have tried before, its like they put a lot of fish sauce or something in it, anyways its damn good too. Omellette was pretty good but nothing amazing. Only 2200yen and fed 2 people, portions are not as small as peppermint thai in Kichijoji or any others I have tried in Tokyo. I would highly recommend this for a casual lunch or dinner when you`ve got a craving for authentic Thai. It was a bit spicey too, but not overly so.

                                                                Another good place is a Korean joint in Koenji called Karaboo. They specialise in the bbq pork, which is good (unfortunately they don`t do the grilled rice with the pork fat after the bbq). The chichimi is the best I have ever tried, also the kimchi soup is good and the bibimbap too. Service is 10 out of 10. Really friendly and helpful and when you leave they give your clothes a light spray with a clothing deodoriser, now thats service.

                                                                1. m
                                                                  mleco RE: sonik212 Oct 18, 2012 03:23 AM

                                                                  I left NYC when the Korean fried chicken trend was just taking over. Despite the popularity of Korean food in Tokyo, I haven't really seen Korean fried chicken (aka "yangnyeom chicken") here. I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that there was a Twotwo Chicken branch somewhere. Anyone have any recs?

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mleco
                                                                    Tripeler RE: mleco Oct 18, 2012 07:17 AM

                                                                    Yes, I have been to the Twotwo place in Akasaka. I believe it is still open, but am not sure. Often times, places from Korea arrive in Tokyo with a big splash, but after a few months they close!
                                                                    Turns out there is a post about it on this board. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588001

                                                                    Good luck!

                                                                    1. re: mleco
                                                                      tokyodude RE: mleco Apr 26, 2014 12:49 PM

                                                                      Here are two place I've tried -

                                                                      Dc Donald - Their friend chicken has a great crunch and the yangmyeom chicken is excellent. You order by either a full or half chicken. Fried gizzards is also another good one for those that miss them.

                                                                      Chckholic - It's a little different from the other shop but also really good. The yangmyeom comes with white-yellow sauce to help with the heat. It's stick messy goodness.

                                                                      Both place deliver locally and do take out. KFC's got absolutely nothing on these places. Just a warning that both places are Very addicting!

                                                                    2. b
                                                                      booffie RE: sonik212 Dec 3, 2012 08:40 AM

                                                                      In no particular order some of the places I like.
                                                                      Teddy's Bigger Burgers

                                                                      Fellows Burger stand

                                                                      Munch's Burger shack



                                                                      La Bisboccia

                                                                      The French Kitchen (Grand Hyatt Roppongi

                                                                      as for BBQ and good pizza is a stretch anything resembling BBQ is just nonexistent.......... for pizza in Japan I would have to settle for
                                                                      Devil Craft


                                                                      But I cant see myself ever going there if I was in the US.

                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                      1. re: booffie
                                                                        Uncle Yabai RE: booffie Dec 3, 2012 06:17 PM

                                                                        You're settling rather low. Pizzakaya is definitely a wide miss. Savoy, Seirinkan, and even Napule are better bets.

                                                                        1. re: Uncle Yabai
                                                                          Jrim RE: Uncle Yabai Dec 3, 2012 07:58 PM

                                                                          Savoy, Seirinkan and Napule are all offering a rather different experience, though. If you're craving US-style pizza, I'd go with sonik212's original recommendation of Rocco's. Apparently the Nakameguro Taproom has started serving New Haven-style pizza recently, though I've yet to try it.

                                                                          1. re: Jrim
                                                                            booffie RE: Jrim Dec 4, 2012 12:24 AM

                                                                            That's what I was thinking as well. A very different style of pizza at savoy. It's close enough for me I could eat there everyday if I wanted but it's just not the knd of pizza I'm into.

                                                                            I would like to try Rocco's but talk about the worst location you can pick. That alone makes me doubtful I will ever give it a try

                                                                            1. re: booffie
                                                                              thesoulofjapan RE: booffie Dec 4, 2012 12:49 AM

                                                                              Yes. Next up for me is Rocco's. If I can get my blood pressure down below 150 I'll go up there.

                                                                        2. re: booffie
                                                                          Robb S RE: booffie Dec 3, 2012 10:15 PM

                                                                          >anything resembling BBQ is just nonexistent

                                                                          What do you have against the BBQ at Hatos Bar? Or Bashamichi Taproom for that matter?

                                                                          1. re: Robb S
                                                                            booffie RE: Robb S Dec 4, 2012 12:25 AM

                                                                            Hatos just isn't anything that good that ever made me want to go back. Portions were small taste was meh.
                                                                            Haven't been to the other place. But that's in Yokohama. If I'm in Yokohama once every three years that would be allot. If I am going that often I'll wait for gates, Auther Bryant's , Hayward's, smokestack, Oklahoma joes. Etc. as I'm more Likley to be in Kansas city than in Yokohama

                                                                            At the end of the day. The best BBQ I have had here is the meat I smoke at home.

                                                                            1. re: booffie
                                                                              thesoulofjapan RE: booffie Dec 4, 2012 12:47 AM

                                                                              Robb S....Hato's lover. BBQ aficianado. I think the list is long on what we have against Hatos.
                                                                              <<Boofie - The food you cook is always better. Yokohama really isn't that far from Tokyo. Don't know where you are. Bashamichi is definitely a step up in terms of BBQ. If you are desperate then Outback Steak house's ribs get a C+

                                                                          2. re: booffie
                                                                            thesoulofjapan RE: booffie Dec 4, 2012 12:50 AM

                                                                            Teddy's Burger. Been there. Not bad. Went a second time. Nice sides.

                                                                          3. t
                                                                            tokyodude RE: sonik212 Apr 26, 2014 01:04 PM

                                                                            Here are some place I've tried ordering from (they both take Paypal):

                                                                            Meat Guy - Has a wide variety of unique meats, sausages, tortillas, frozen cheesecakes (very evil :)

                                                                            The Flying Pig - Costco items delivered locally or personal import (PI).
                                                                            They use to have refried beans locally but now they are PI. But I'd get a case with their 40 pack of tortillas to make burritos for the office. Just simple taco seasoning with some fresh garlic mashed up. Add water and sitr on low for a couple hours. Add oil if the meat didn't have a lot of fat in it.

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