Otsu is a Micheline one star Italian restaurant near Yoyogi park that serves great Northern Italian food. I wanted to try a new place and they have a very reasonable lunch set for ¥3800. The first dish on the menu was katsuo (skipjack tuna).
Next up was pasta with red sauce and eggplant.
Spanish pork with mustard seed sauce, thyme, and mild baby green peppers from Hokkaido.
Dessert was gelato with honey, dates, and crumbled cookie.
I have been meaning to go to East Village in Ikebukuro for some time. I finally made it there and they do belong in the upper tier of hamburger restaurants in Tokyo. I got a gruyere cheese burger (¥1250) cooked to juicy medium rare precision with home made buns and garnishes of pickles and fried potatoes. Note: there's an upstairs, but we were escorted to a nearby shot bar with space for 10 on the main floor-I suspect it is for busy weekends.
Can it be called a hamburger if there's no meat in the burger? Ain Soph.Ripple, a vegan restaurant, is serving up the Ripple Cheese Burger for ¥1250. And I have to admit it's the best vegan burger I've every had.
I love spicy food so I thought I'd check out the Gekikara Festival in Okubo Park. I should have done more planning, I got a full serving ticket for ¥1000 (smaller portions are available for ¥800), and decided to go for mabodofu at a Chinese booth. When asked how hot I wanted it I said medium (forgetting it was a super spicy festival). I couldn't finish it-maybe 10 spoonfuls maximum. I guess I am weaker than I thought when it comes to the heat.
Laputa is a cinema building inspired by by the legendary Studio Ghibili's Castle in the Sky. It is currently showing vintage films from the 60s. They seems to be more commercially successful films rather than the more artistic films from that era I am partial to. But I still might stop by and check a film out at some point since it is one of the golden ages of Japanese cinema in my opinion. Last month they were showing the art film The Lobster, so they also show contemporary films on occasion.
I was in Takadanobaba to try another highly rated tonkatsu shop, only to find it closed on Mondays, so I was looking for something novel when I saw the sign for Yuragi that advertised "white curry." I got the white curry with cheese and croquet for ¥850. It was good, perhaps it had coconut milk? However, it wasn't too sweet-satisfying.
Isshou is a ramen shop in Minami Asagaya that has an unusual approach in serving their ramen. They serve the toppings separately and the diner adds them as they choose. There are several options, but I went for a half size (¥680) with the spiciest options that had chili pepper, chili oil, garlic, bean sprouts, cabbage, and two slices of pork. Next time I want to try the ethnic style which had lemon grass and other spices in it.