Friday, August 7, 2009

Izumoya, Kanda (いづもや)

Is this the eel life?
Is this just fantasy?
- Queen

The strategy here was to save the best for last, and it seems to have worked out. This Izumoya appears to be unrelated to the (pretty good) one on the other side of the station. If you have only one meel to eet eel, (meaning you're already resigned to the prices of the little grilled beasts) this is the place to go.

We went early so we could get back for a vital meeting, which turned out to be a good thing. Some parts of the establishment were certainly full by the time we got there, and we ended up being shepherded to the separate building (they have a main building and a separate building on the same block in this minor dead zone between Kanda and the Bank of Japan) in order to have the table seating that Mitch asked for (and I preferred too!). This is a shame because the main building appears (from the look we got in the door) to be somewhat lavishly decorated in a very traditional fashion. I'd like to go there, even if it meant floor seating (OMG, I can't believe I said that).

I've discussed aspects of eel eeting all week; one that I left out is the grilling. A LOT of places grill their eels over electric coils. Yucky! Even worse, of course, is that they're really reheating the pre-grilled fillets over electric coils.). I think Izumoya uses charcoal - they show the pictures on their web site, and there's an actual roasting smell coming from the exhaust fans outside. Yummerz.

Their eel is how it oughta be. It's light yet firm, the sauce is strong but not overpowering, the fish isn't fishy, and I'll have a hard time going anywhere else after that. 5 places this week, 5 different menu structures - I sprung for the 2nd-cheapest box, but in order they were Flower Y2100, Bamboo Y2310, Chrysanthemum Y2835, and Crane Y3360. Pon, I'm afraid there's no consistency whatsoever (although you could actually argue that in this case they left out a Pine option at Y2550, which would introduce some parallels with at least a few other places). And just once, I want to see what a Crane box looks like. Liver soup is, mercifully, an optional extra at Y420, including the Y20 of tax, so we all skipped it.

I may publish a further roundup later if I get really motivated, but for now I'll ask you to be satisfied that Edo-dori Izuomya is my recommendation for Kanda eel (and in fact eel in general), unless you want something different, in which case you should have the hitsumabushi at Tamai.

Scaramouche, Scaramouche, eel you do the Fandango?


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