Saturday, February 6, 2010

Figaro, Aoyama

Bit of a dissapointment here - looking for a cafe to kill some time between lunch, shopping and dinner, this seemed like the obvious choice in Aoyama (since, for example, the Henri Le Roux cafe was packed to the rafters, and has nothing to do with him beyond the name anyway). For those few readers to whom this will mean something, this part of Aoyama (down the street east from Omotesando, like you came from Meiji Jingu and kept walking) reminds me a lot of Philadelphia. There are a lot of brick-faced buildings from the 60's and 70's, which I find I associate with some parts of PhilaPA (at least when I was a kid; I'm sure that stuff is mostly gone). That style must have been the height of sophistication back when refrigerators and stoves were avocado-green and matched each other.
Despite a bit of darkness on this photo, I think you can see that it supposes to be a bistro-ish interior, and largely succeeds in that. But I was pretty much sucked in to thinking it was a neighborhoody bistro that had been around for a while. And maybe it is (1969, precisely), and maybe it's better if you're not just there at cafe time. The ambience is good for relaxing - velvety banquettes, brass fittings.

So I learned a new Japanese word at Figaro. It's 'kisetsu', which I had previously misunderstood. I thought 季節 meant 'seasonal', but based on this kisetsu pear tart, what it actually means is 'industrial, processed crap with too much sugar and a thick layer of goo on top'. I'll have to remember that next time I see it on a kappou menu, because I don't really like kisetsu things.
I mean, who does?

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