Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jiyugaoka Grill, Tokyo (新丸7階)

For the usual reasons, I had an inclination toward meat, fat, grease, whatever at lunch today. Not in a bad way, but it seemed like something substantial was indicated. 鈴寺 was fortunately amenable to this, and off we went to a yoshoku place. Out of habit, I steered toward a place that I hadn't tried before; the fact that we got to recline on comfy chairs by the windows on the 7th floor of Shin Maru was a pleasant consequence of said decision.

Does Jiyugaoka Grill originate in Jiyugaoka? I'm thinking it doesn't, but please prove me wrong. The one I know is on the top food floor (7) of Shin Maru, and is probably the most elegant among the variously relaxed and inviting options up there (I'm not being facetious, I really do like the atmosphere). The restaurant is set up a bit like a sidewalk cafe, and in fact the wall of windows opens fully so that the distinction between formal tables with white covers and casual wood tables with purple chairs by the windows is blurred. We sat by the window, and I have to say that the relaxed stance of the chairs makes it a touch hard to eat, but I still preferred it.

Linji had a steak-don, Japanese style, with slivered nori on top and probably ponzu oroshi. I didn't ask, honestly. I had what could be a bit of a signature set - hamburger with demiglace. This is of course just the patty, not a burger on a bun, and the demiglace is suitable rich and sticky. I could swear it said on the menu that they simmer the demiglace for a week, but that sounds ridiculous now....no wait, it really says that! It's on the web site too!

Unfortunately, the demiglace at Bistro Bonne Mares is better for me, as I proved when I visited last Friday (I think that gives BBM the distinction of being the first place I actively chose to go back to after finishing the year of eating dangerously. I'm as surprised as you to learn that the thing I most wanted to eat again was Hayashi Rice.). The JG version was not meaty at all to my tastes; possibly it was all veal when I expected beef? The burger was also interestingly light and not as expected, just very different. I don't regret it. The assemblage was complete with a side plate of snacky-poos like a sauteed eringi mushroom, some mashed potatoes and some ratatatooey.

This clearly fit the bill for yoshoku today, but on the whole I would probably recommend individual other places for specific yoshoku items that you might like to eat. Let me know what you need, other than the hayashi rice, which is clearly indicated at BBM, or possibly at Loup de Mer. Good croquettes, I dunno.

Still need to get to Ogawaken and Taimeiken sometime.

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