Kyoto - Yamashita Report
Per my earlier post, I discovered this place on tabelog, where it is rated as the #1 restaurant for seafood. We LOVED this place. Bustling, smoky izakaya atmosphere. We sat at the counter and they brought out a seemingly endless parade of very fresh, well-prepared seafood dishes. Some of the dishes, sorry I can't remember a lot of the details:
Cold simmered fish and root vegetables
Cold appetizer plate (including sashimi fig with sesame sauce)
Tempura - anago and vegetables
Fried fish and skin - maybe sea bream?
fig in a light soup
hamo (pike conger eel) grilled on the counter in front of us, served with vinegar sauce
grilled rice packet with gingko nuts and pine nuts
miso soup and pickles
Although they didn't speak that much English and we speak little Japanese, the chefs and other patrons were all very friendly, drinking and joking around with us. Like most places we went, they relaxed once they saw we recognized and appreciated the food. At the end of the meal the head chef brought us various extra things to look at and taste. If we're ever back in Kyoto we will definitely go back.
I think we did the middle one, but then had them add some grilled anago. I printed out some pics from tabelog of things that looked good and I thought might be in season so I could show to my hotel concierge to see what she could negotiate for me. Honestly I wouldn't worry too much, what we had looked pretty similar to what other people were having a la carte, and it's definitely the type of place where if you saw something that looked good, you could ask them to add it for you.