I've been watching a lot of Kodoku no gurume, a show from Japan. It is about a salesman in Tokyo named Goro who goes out to eat. That's it. That's the premise of the show. But his meals are centered around B-kyu cuisine, Japan's comfort foods. So we follow him around town while he eats yakitori, curry, tonkatsu, oden, Napolitan spaghetti (ketchup pasta), whatever he fancies at the moment.
Sometimes, Goro is in a part of town where he knows exactly where to eat, but the best episodes are the ones where he stumbles into an eatery not knowing anything about the place. No smartphones, no Yelp reviews (er, Gurunavi), just intuition. Remember life without Yelp? Without knowing the menus beforehand? Without having to make reservations? Yes, there still can be this life.
Goro himself is an excellent character. What's so alluring about him is that he is so reserved, yet he has a great appetite and is always up for new adventures in eating. Goro doesn't drink, which is sometimes off-putting to the other customers and owners of the eateries he walks into, but he'll order plate after plate of food, no problem. It's fun to watch him, he's quite charming and finds a lot of joy in the act of eating. I also respect his ability to identify what exactly he wants to eat at any given moment of the day. That's a gift!
Kodoku no gurume was originally a manga that ran from 1994-98, which was then turned into a live-action show in 2012. The authors of the manga, Masayuki Kusumi and Jiro Taniguchi actually wrote about the restaurants in real life Tokyo! So I guess you could say that Goro was a restaurant critic in his own right.
I've just found a website, Good Drama dot net, that has this show with subtitles. Get into it!
Kodoku no gurume, Season 1
Kodoku no gurume, Season 2
Kodoku no gurume, Season 3
This is a gem of a show. Crawl up and watch it all weekend long. Enjoy yourself!