Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sayori, Kayabacho (さより)

Sayori is a place that's trying to hide away. It's at the back side of Kayabacho, a double whammy when you consider that the whole area isn't exactly a hotbed of activity. It's on the third floor of a building, and advertises mainly with a small grey and black sign at waist level on the side of the building. The other two restaurants in the same building have lighted signs, color photos and neon arrows (kinda). If you take the time to get up there, you'll find an attractively grubby place, run by a crusty and aggressive master. The thing is, his fish was really extraordinary. I would go back for the fish alone.

They describe the place as an 魚河岸処, riverside fish market place. I've heard that that kanji for river is meant to apply more to the mouth of the river, which would make some sense as the fish were all from the ocean. It would be surprising to find aji, buri, maguro and saba at a riverside market, no? Still, these were really all exemplary; after a long, hot summer with flabby and disinteresting fish, I'm really enjoying fall and winter so far!

Other than that, we had a nice grilled hokke from hokkaido, a cold tomato (peeled, with mayonnaise, which McNoonan will not eat) and a daikon salad that turned out to be shredded daikon mixed with mentaiko and mayo and bean shoots (toumyou). I had to eat the whole thing, which was cool with me.

About the aggression: while we were still getting seated, the master said "Whaddya want to drink? Beer? OK?" I definitely said, "We'll think about it," and 2 minutes later, they served us beers. Similarly, with the sashimi, he said "Can you eat sashimi?" and then started cutting. I think he was just trying to get rid of things; for instance, while we were still looking at the menu he came out from behind the counter and started insisting that we should order a whole dried squid, to which I had to say "We don't need that" three times to get him to stop ("No really, it's good!"って). Since the rest of the place was given over to a party of 20 people, I guess he was sorta doing us a favor letting us in, and if he bought too much for that party and saw a great opportunity to use it up (squid was clearly on their menu), well, that's his business. I think it's worth talking about though, because everyone runs into it sometimes. The main culprits are sushi masters, who of course have an even stronger interest in getting rid of their produce.

I'd like to close by saying hi to Sugimoto san. Boy, you were really drunk! Even though you're the head of sales and my friend is bald, I don't think you should have rubbed his head and called him 'little octopus'.

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