Sake

Code Name Mixology Laboratory (Tokyo)

Mr. Shuzo Nagumo is a mad scientist behind the bar. With a twinkle in his eye and a firm stance when shaking, he has started a cocktail revolution in Tokyo that is a great departure from the cocktail bars we've become used to in Japan. That is:...

Take-Chan Niboshi Ramen in Tokyo

The best bowl of ramen we ate on our last trip to Japan was in the Chofu neighborhood of Tokyo. We were on our way for some R+R at an onsen nearby and stopped by Take-chan, which specializes in broth made...

Yona Yona Beer Works in Tokyo

Yoko and I were so excited to find that one of Yoho Brewery's tap rooms in Tokyo was right in our hotel! We waited until our very last night in the city to go in for a beer, and looking back, I wish we wouldn't...

Yakitori Bunraku in Tokyo

A good friend of mine is in Tokyo right now and he wanted a shortlist of places to eat. As a tourist, you usually do want to be armed with a list from someone you know of where to dine while traveling. You don't want...

Akio Watanabe of Bar EST! (Tokyo)

Looking back on our trip to Japan in February, the most memorable cocktail was at Bar EST!. A short distance from the Yushima train station in Tokyo, EST! is a dark, tavernous space filled with men drinking a scotch on the rocks and smoking cigarettes.

Togarashi Ginger Highball at Jicca (Tokyo)

As you know by now, Tori-chan is a dear friend of ours who opened Jicca, a restaurant and wine bar in the Hatagaya neighborhood in Tokyo nearly two years ago. She is a native of Minami-soma in Fukushima prefecture; a town that was...

Craft Beer Market in Tokyo

People in Japan are cuckoo for beer. It remains the most popular alcoholic beverage in Japan, accounting for two thirds of all alcohol consumed overall (says Wikipedia). When going out with friends or coworkers after work, it is an ongoing tradition for the table...

Meet Masako Ikegami of Bar Shake (Ginza)

We met the gracious Masako Ikegami in 2010, before we opened our shop in Oakland, at the Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon we helped host at Prizefighter. A few bartenders from Japan who had won the coveted Suntory Cocktail Award, presented cocktails and exchanged tricks of...

TSG Hard Strong Glass Factory (Chiba)

When Kayoko and I started choosing glassware for the shop, we wanted simple and functional glasses that would also look beautiful in any kitchen. With that in mind, we knew one of our mainstays would be the Hard Strong Stacking glasses manufactured by Japan's...

Adventures in Nakano: Hitomi Bar

Male bartenders in Japan are full of themselves. There, I said it. From the few "star" bars we visited during our trip to Tokyo, I felt miffed by the arrogance and general unfriendliness of the bartenders. What is up with that? Where...

Adventures in Nakano: Yakitori at Shimon-ya

One of the most memorable nights I had in Tokyo was an adventure in Nakano, a hip neighborhood in Tokyo. We met up with our friend and Umami Mart writer Will, aka The Ramen Shaman, along with Eri, who suggested a yakitori joint called...

Tokyo JUNKtion

Tokyo JUNKtion: Hosomaki Diaries

Trends in roll combinations in the States are rapid, with so many joints coming up with their own "house" rolls. Conversely, the combinations of rolls or makimono are very constant in Japan. In this post, I am specifically referring to hosomaki (or thin rolls). There...

The Ramen Shaman

The Ramen Shaman: Nagi (Golden Gai)

Nagi, Nagi, Nagi. This one's been near the top of my ever-expanding ramen bucket list for a long time. I've been to a Nagi branch before -- it was the first Tokyo bowl I had with fellow ramen blogger Brian from

Tokyo JUNKtion

Tokyo JUNKtion: Jicca

Whenever I visit Tokyo, I look forward to meeting newborns... especially when I've followed the progression of their parents. No, I'm not talking about newborn babies. I'm talking about new places to eat. On our first full night in Tokyo, Kayoko and I visited Jicca,...