032018Feb

Surprise! It’s More Than Just Izakaya

My flight landed in Austin right before dinner time. Of course, I turned to my list of places to try and decided on Komé. I knew it was going to be busy. However, since it was located outside downtown and I was a party of one, I’d thought I try my luck. Well, I was right about one thing, the place was busy. There were scores of people waiting. People waiting along the benches inside and people waiting around the outside tables. Good thing they serve drinks while you wait….

252018Jan

Two Visits to Maruyama

Within a week I’ve been to Maruyama twice. It’s not only because I am addicted to sushi (well maybe), it’s because my camera ran out of batteries on my first visit. And what’s the best thing that can happen when you try a place a second time? Well, when things get better. Though I have to admit, repeating the same place in this short time frame was far from normal. I blame it on my friend’s Instagram feed. Her Maruyama visit looked much better than my first go at this…

242017Nov

Hiyoko

It’s probably no surprise Japanese cuisine is on the rise in Mexico City. Like any other major city in the world, it comes in the form of high end sushi restaurants to piping hot ramen joints to inviting izakaya spots. We chose a place that would fit the latter category, Hiyoko. It’s a Japanese kushiyaki restaurant offering an intimate space for you and the staff. It’s setup similar to your limited seating sushi omakase establishments. However, they serve up freshly grilled skewers using both familiar Japanese staples along with local…

102017Nov

Bar Seating at Uchi

I couldn’t leave Austin without visiting one of their top places for high quality Japanese cuisine, Uchi. Having visited Uchiko a few years back, I was excited to try out the place that started it all. Being a big fan of traditional Japanese cuisine, I have to say, this “contemporary” take was very impressive. I can see why it’s hard to land a reservation here. Going solo was my only advantage on this busy night. Instant bar seating for the win! When you’re at the bar, you will get a…

052017Nov

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya’s Texan Izakaya

Time for dinner and I happened to be in the mood for Japanese food. No surprise huh? Well, it just so happens that a few miles east of downtown was Kemuri Tatsu-ya, a place serving izakaya with Texan influences. Judging from the reviews I’ve read, it was worth a try. So off I go for another solo run. This time it would be in East Austin. Although there was a standing stall outside, it was a little too cold to be sitting there, let alone be waited on. Luckily, there was…

062017Sep

A Dash Reboot

I remember going to Dash when it was right across from the movie theater. Now it sits in core downtown San Mateo offering an upgraded dining experience with its larger space. My friends and I stopped by to check out all the changes. There’s much more room now and houses a larger sushi bar space for those who want to chat up the chefs. But if you want table service, there’s plenty of room for that. If you happen to find George behind the counter (not pictured), you’re up for…

212017Jul

6 PM Seating at Hinata

There are two things I love and one thing I wish they can do at Hinata Sushi. First, the quality of food at the price point for their omakase. You can’t find a new sushi restaurant focused on quality without charging you over $120, but this place does. And they do it without cutting corners. Just look at that fish below. Next, the atmosphere. When you first walk in and see the space, you’ll wonder why they don’t try and cram more tables in like every other place trying to survive…

152017Jul

Ordering Ramen From A Vending Machine

If you’ve been to a local noodle shop in Japan then you must be familiar with the vending machine system. You go up, put in your money, make a selection, get the ticket, hand it to the person behind the counter and wait for your meal. That’s all pretty standard for food that’s pretty decent. Keep in mind this was among Japanese expectations. But at AFURI, they’ve raised that flavor quality bar while still keeping that familiar routine. They did this with their signature broth, which has that touch of…

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