Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mieux Dominus, Kanda

I'd like to use this intermediate post (between yesterday's lunch and dinner) as a mechanism for discussing several dimensions that interest me within the socio-psychological framework of restaurant selection, including the relative importance assigned by the customer to aspects within the restaurant's value dialogue and also the proper identification and typification of restaurants based on the mating rituals in which they engage. Yesterday's lunch at Konami got me thinking even more about this than usual, and I'll carry over some of the themes into the dinner post because...there isn't much good that I can say about the food.

First, a short guest review from my colleague and fellow-college aluma (that's awkward. How should I say this given that we're alumni of the same college but one of us is an alumnus and the other is an alumna?), who shall henceforth be referred to in this venue as 'Shaft' - both a winking sort of nod to her actual name as well as a delightfully inappropriate and recherche reference to that most famous of black private dicks.

Dominus is "a wine bar also serving as the hotel restaurant for the Kanda Station Hotel. The restaurant's chi-chi, sleek appearance is completely at odds with the run-down looking hotel lobby/exterior. However I was very disappointed with the lunch as I thought it wasn't good at all. Well, the salad dressing was good. Perhaps this place is better to go in the evening when you are drinking. Also it is almost a 15 minute walk [from UrbanNet/Otemachi Nomura Building] but if leisurely conversation is not your priority then 30 minutes of sitting time is sufficient." 03-3252-1037

If you've really got the time to kill and are still reading this (deliberately) overblown post, why not check out the web site and gurunabi site to form your own opinions?

So here's the first thing: I hope you'll agree that based on the pictures they've done a well fine job of fitting the place out. I see the high, airy ceiling, the curved feature wall, the mid-height partitions that divide the space into several, and the overall brightness and whiteness of it, and I'd like to eat there. Like yesterday's view, I find myself thinking "It would be fine to forgo quality dining for a day just to relax [in a nice atmosphere / with a nice view] like that." And I think, hell's bells, have I become someone who cares about environment more than food? Hopefully it's just a bit more nuanced than that.

Here's the second thing. Did you look at the web sites? Combined, they say the following things to me (and yes, unfortunately I really do invest this amount of energy in trying to divine the inner nature of places before visiting). The gnavi top page currently has some white asaparagus on it. Great, that's very spring-y and a mildly rare ingredient. It says 'we're trying!'. Then the dinner menu page has a picture of every thing they offer. This is nice in theory, but points up the fact that all of their plates look more or less the same - a bit jumbled. And when you look at their home page, it shows a lack of care - if they were really a restaurant that knew what to do with white asparagus, they should have a better home page. Finally, they exhibit that mix of dishes from pate to pasta, that implies they're trying to cover all the 'European' bases, and are not particularly expert in any of it.

Geez, I feel a little dirty now, like I ate too much chocolate. Intellectualizing about food is bad for the liver. After all that kvetching, I should probably also visit the place to see if I'm at all right! At any rate, it'll be a nice atmosphere and a good walk.

At no other point in this post did I mention the phrase 'my friends'.

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