Izakayas...

Otsu
Sometimes it is best to rely on good luck than preparation. On our third night in Fukuoka, after visiting Kitaya Shuzo & Nishi Yoshida during the day, we met up with Seikai's friends from school for dinner at an organ meat izakaya (story on that experience coming soon). Afterward a few of us decided to have one more drink - shochu of course. Read More...

fukuoka yatai
A yatai is a small, mobile food stand with a few seats around the outdoor kitchen. In Fukuoka there were dozens of these stands lining sidewalks late night near popular drinking areas. After a full night of izakaya hoping and a bar or two you'll stumble to one of these stands for a meal to top it all off. This helps fight off the potential hangover and the food just tastes so good. Read More...

JAL 005 JFK to NRT
I've decided to take a pilgrimage. This isn't easy for me since I don't speak much Japanese outside of restaurants and my “real” career is busier than ever, but I booked a trip to Japan this summer. In fact, I'm on Japan Airlines (JAL) flight #5 from JFK to Tokyo Narita as I write this. Planning this trip has been so daunting, I've only been able to tweet about it. I realized on my way to the airport that many of my friends didn't even realize I was going. A text from our graphic designer read, “Hey man, plans today?” I replied, “Heading to Japan.” He replied, “Hot damn. When you back?” Read More...

torishin
There are few places in New York City where you legitimately feel like you could be sitting in Tokyo. Most places are either too big or too small or the proportions of the space are just off in some subtle way. Perhaps there's a Latino bus boy or English signage. There's almost always something that gives away that we're in the U.S. At Tori Shin you have to look very, very closely and the evidence only appeared in early 2012. Read More...

chef at work
Essentially an izakaya is a Japanese tavern. But it's also Japanese tapas. And it's a Japanese gastropub. So perhaps the way to think of an izakaya is as a Japanese gastro-tapas-pub. Don't plan on having a 45 minute meal before a movie. Don't plan on going and having a starter, a main, and a dessert. Go planning on having a long, lingering meal over good drinks and better conversation with a group of great friends. Make an evening of it. Once you're in that mindset the rest is easy. Read More...

Bitter Melon
What could be better to start out Spring than a virtual trip to Okinawa? The beautiful islands in the Pacific Ocean off the southern coast of Japan? Unfortunately for New Yorkers, since Suibi in Midtown East closed a few years back, Okinawan food is not easily available. Fortunately for New Yorkers, some Okinawa lovers have persisted and they have decided to put on an Okinawan festival. Read More...

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