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Los Angeles hounds to Tokyo in late December. Sushi and Izakaya recs greatly appreciated!!!

PinotPlease Nov 27, 2011 09:10 PM

Hello fellow hounds - We are planning a Christmas/New Year's trip to Tokyo this winter and would love to partake in sushi and Izakaya. We have pretty educated palates and are looking to spend what's probably in the middle range for meals (We usually spend about $100-120 for two people on sushi in Los Angeles including a couple drinks each.) For people familiar with the Los Angeles scene, we're big fans of Sushi Gen, K-Zo and we loved Sushi Ike in Hollywood when it was still run by Ike himself.

As for Izakaya, we're newer to it, but always find Robata Jinya and Honda Ya to be quite tasty, if somewhat different in style, and just tried Raku in Las Vegas which was probably the best we've had in our relatively limited experience. The chef there really seemed to be trying interesting things with different homemade soy sauces and salts to compliment seasonal grilled dishes, housemade tofu and the like.

So, that being said, we'd love to hear about some great sushi and Izakya spots from people in the know. Also, we just found out that since we're going to be there over New Year's, that a lot of places, including the fish market, close down completely for the holiday, so anyone who has any ideas/information on eats over the holiday would be really helpful!

Also, since I'm asking for everything, December 30 is an important anniversary for us. Any thoughts on perhaps anniversary sushi? Once again, as much as we'd like, we can't spend $300 per person, but somewhere in the neighborhood of the above price range, maybe a bit more, would be great!

Thanks in advance!

  1. wekabeka Dec 5, 2011 12:52 AM

    As has already been mentioned in another thread you have posted, I suggest you make use of the search function for izakaya and ryoboya. Come up with a list of places and then come back with specific questions if you need more advise.
    You already have my robataya rec on your other thread, but in regards to izakaya I would recommend Nakamura in Shibuya.
    http://wiawekabeka.blogspot.com/2010/...
    However, if you are able to tell us the area you will be staying in and the izakaya that you are interested in, we will be better able to advise you.

    1. s
      sushigirlie Nov 28, 2011 01:02 AM

      For cheaper sushi, try the omakase lunch at Manten Sushi in Marunouchi (near the imperial palace). It's about $40/person. I think it's better than what you can get at Sushi Gen for closer to $100/person.

      For your anniversary, you might try Sushi Saito (three Michelin stars). I have only been there for dinner, but I understand that lunch there is substantially cheaper than dinner (as is so often the case in Tokyo). This blogger says it's only $65 or so/person, which seems pretty extraordinary. http://epicurious-deb.blogspot.com/20...

      8 Replies
      1. re: sushigirlie
        PinotPlease Dec 4, 2011 04:06 PM

        Thank you for the great suggestions! My mouth is watering already!

        1. re: PinotPlease
          u
          Uncle Yabai Dec 6, 2011 10:10 PM

          Beware, though. Sushi Saito's lunch prices are more moderate, but you definitely get a step down in variety and artistry in what you're served. Excellent stuff, mind you, but not what makes Saito a special place. You can always order the dinner menu at lunch, but you'll pay dinner prices, 20K and up, maybe more.

          1. re: Uncle Yabai
            a
            akated Dec 6, 2011 10:15 PM

            oh that's good to know uncle yabai! i was planning to go to saitou for lunch this upcoming march, but guess i will have to rethink my strategy!

          2. re: PinotPlease
            n
            Ninisix Dec 7, 2011 01:58 AM

            Hum, the sushi Manten is in a good position in the Tabelog, so i did tried it - as i am living in Tokyo. I have to say that thte two young sushi master sometimes make mistakes, with pieces unbalanaced, so expect some nice 'wasabi' strength varations. The "ikura' was too marinated, the 1 second dip in hot water became a good 5sc, the taste of 'yuzu' was too strong, the 'shibi maguro'... i have to admit that the omakase at 3000.-yens is seducing for a lunch that includes 'ikura', 'awabi'.... Sushigirlie, did you experience the same (too) fatty maguro and predominent taste of yzu (hiding the taste of 'ikura') ? Perhaps, my expectations of sushi is not anaymore relected in the Tabelog, but it can be a good information though ! The sushi, i recommend for lunch are :
            SUSHI SHIMIZU in Shimbashi : lunch at 5500.-yens (9kan), lunch at 8500.-yens (13kan)
            SUSHI TAICHI in Ginza : lunch on weekdays at 2500.-yens (8kan), 5250.-yens (11kan), dinner omakase(tsumami+sushi) at around 14,000.-yens  
            SUSHI IKKYU in Ginza : lunch at 3000.-yens (8kan), lunch at 5000.-yens(11kan), diner omakase with champagne-2glass of wine is at 12,600.-yens quantity wont be there thought and i cant recommend you to pass some extra-command..
            SUSHI SASAKI in Ginza : lunch at 3500.-yens, 5000.-yens or 7000.-yens  

            1. re: Ninisix
              n
              Ninisix Dec 7, 2011 02:03 AM

              Sushi saito is better for his tsunami than the nigiris in my opinion!

              1. re: Ninisix
                a
                akated Dec 7, 2011 02:04 AM

                oh. the sushi-ya looks affordable as holiday lunches! maybe i'll try one of them (going to tokyo in march)!

                1. re: akated
                  a
                  akated Feb 6, 2012 12:18 AM

                  haiz. a day too late in booking for sushi saitou! the whole of march is full (i tried calling on the 2nd of feb).

                  back-up plan should be sawada. the prices look scary though...

                  1. re: akated
                    n
                    Ninisix Feb 7, 2012 04:39 AM

                    Personally, I have a weak spot for Araki-San, omakase is at 23,000.-yens, half pieces are maguro(tuna), and good.. but if you are after cheaper lunch, just go on the sushi mentioned...

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