Monday, December 29, 2008

Santa, Shinjuku (三太)

Today's a cooking day (though with a little less chicken and a little more attention to food safety, thank you very much), but I was reminded of something and thought I'd fire off a quick and gratuitous post.

Last time my parents came to Japan (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!), we were nearly stuck in Nikko due to crowded trains and poor planning, and thus arrived into Shinjuku fairly late (as opposed to Ueno at a decent hour). Eating around there seemed the done thing, but I was and remain a dunce about eating out in Shinjuku, let alone navigating the streets. In fact, I can't reliably find the right station exit.

We wandered around for a while, and finally hit on this tonkatsu place, which I've now learned is called Santa, of all things (better 4 days late than never). I was reminded of this whole episode when I wandered by Santa on Saturday looking for Rock Inn, which is a decent store but really not a patch on the Ochanu or Shibuya stores, especially the whole Ikebe / 246 complex that seems to take up the whole street in Shibuya, including the awesome basement Amp Station and Guitar Station stores. Yes sir, I would like to try the $5,000 guitar (Suhr) with the $6,000 amp (/13)! Thank you! Errrr...I think I digressed. And drooled.

This is a gratuitous post because I didn't like Santa (children everywhere are shocked). Their whole 'tiny sticks of bread' coating was weird, trapping a lot of extraneous grease without really integrating with the meat or adding to the experience, and the prices are pretty darn high. I guess that's often a symptom of good tonkatsu or Shinjuku. Plus (here he goes again) the service was inattentive and a bit on the alien side (as in "OMG, what's this 宇宙人 doing in our restaurant?! How will I serve him?")

OK, back to cooking.

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