Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ashi Mashi, Otemachi (阿詩瑪石,大手町センタービル)

A slightly mysterious and not-that-well-traveled byway leads to the dining floors of the Otemachi Center Building. It's mysterious for several reasons - there aren't that many places to eat, and many of them are quite ordinary destinations (cheap chain izakaya Ootoya?). Furthermore, some of them have massive lines at 11:35, so maybe the byway's not all that mysterious. I just don't understand Otemachi...

AM has a neat thing going on with the decor. I don't know how to describe the use of square, black, 4-foot columns, or the spacious main room with wide-spread tables, or the semi-private booth-y areas with red-slipcovered shairs. It's weirdly elegant.

The menu's...well, weirdly boring. I think the signature dish was some kind of shark-fin sauce over rice, but I tend to avoid the good ship ankake and all who sail in her, so I didn't look that closely. After that there were some standard items like pork and ginger (again, I didn't notice that much, which I'm now realizing is because I was more focused on the company. Thanks guys!), and a whole 'ramen' section. I had the black sesame noodles from this section, and these were the strangest tantanmen I can remember coming across. The sesame was ground up very fine and mixed with the soup, which made it grey. The noodles were indeed like ramen, which somehow seemed wrong in the context. There was no spice. But overall it was a little better than I've just made it sound, and it came with some pretty good fried rice.

Thus I can safely say, 'Don't be afraid to go here with people that you like!'

The pictures here look a LOT better than the actual place!

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