6-3-7 Ginza 1F Yugen Bldg.
Chuo 104-0061 Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Dining date: 11/2/16
Sushiya came highly recommended from my friend Tomo as one of the popular up-and-coming sushi restaurants in the city. It’s a relatively new restaurant, having been open for only a couple of years, but has gotten a lot of attention from many food writers both in Tokyo and abroad. The chef here is 30-year old Takao Ishiyama who has worked at a couple of very highly-regarded sushi spots – Sushi Kanesaka and Sushi Saito.
Interestingly, none of the diners this evening were English-speaking. Chef Ishiyama’s English is very good, which is probably an additional draw for international visitors.
5-37 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku
Dining date: 11/1/16
Ishikawa is one of the most highly regarded restaurants in Tokyo, known for its kaiseki dining. Here, diners are served a pre-fixed menu either at the counter or at a handful of private dining rooms. About a dozen small dishes are served in a careful progression featuring plenty of local seasonal ingredients for 22000 yen. I’ve dined at sister restaurant and fellow three-star restaurant Kohaku once before and had a great meal, so I was eagerly anticipating this one.
Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama Ward
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0825 Japan
Dining date: 10/29/16
One of the most notable dining styles in Kyoto is a kaiseki meal, a traditional dining experience featuring individual small plates using local and seasonal ingredients (not unlike a western tasting menu). The presentation are often as intricate as the foods – everything is thoughtfully presented and made to look beautiful. While in Kyoto, I visited one of the most well-known examples of kaiseki at Michelin three-star Kikunoi.
Each party that dines here sits in one of the 11 private dining rooms with a view of the grounds’ scenery, creating a very unique experience. It felt, at first, kind of weird being in a private room as a party of 2 but I quickly got used to it.
Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue, Level 2
Dining date: 3/6/16
Waku Ghin, in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, is regarded as one of the top restaurants in the city. Tetsuya Wakuda is the chef, a Japanese-born chef who established himself working in kitchens in Australia. His restaurant in Sydney, Tetsuya’s, is one of the most highly-acclaimed in Australia for its Japanese cuisine with French accents. He opened this sister restaurant in 2010. It was ranked #70 in the 2015 world’s best restaurants list and one of the top in Asia. When Singapore’s first Michelin guide comes out later this year, Waku Ghin is expected to garner a star, perhaps multiple.
Waku Ghin features multiple ‘private dining rooms,’ each seating 4-6 people. The seating surrounds a griddle very much like a teppanyaki restaurant, offering a front-row view into the food being prepared. The menu here is tasting menu-only, 10-12 courses. My dad dined here in November and enjoyed it so much that a return was in order.
424 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 11/23/14 and 1/30/16
Kinjiro opened at the end of 2014, replacing the meat-centric b.o.s. concept. I was sad to see b.o.s. go, though Kinjiro has been a strong follow-up effort with a little more comforting and familiar fare. Situated right next door to the ever-popular Sushi Gen, the restaurant has garnered a following of its own for its take on a Japanese izakaya. There is no sushi here, though the menu is pretty varied from raw dishes to steamed, fried, grilled, noodles and more. A large selection of sake is on hand to consume with the food, as well as a small but well-curated beer and wine list.
I’ve dined at Kinjiro a number of times since opening, but this post captures just a couple of those meals.
521 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Dining date: 1/9/16
This was my third time dining at Q. I visited twice when the restaurant opened in 2014 but didn’t get a chance in 2015. Both of my first two meals were great and I was looking forward to seeing if this third meal would still live up to expectations. Pricing for a meal here is still the same at around $165 for the omakase-only meal.
I had a bottle of champagne from a prior birthday, waiting for the right moment to open it. Pairing the champagne with a sushi omakase seemed like an ideal time to drink it.