Friday, March 25, 2011

Taishoken, Nihonbashi (大勝軒)

Hey hey, it's magnolia season. I wasn't even aware there was a magnolia season until this year; this tree is on the way that I usually walk to the office, and it's getting into full bloom here in the space between plum and cherry blossom seasons. Nice.

Less nice is Taishoken, which I of course visited primarily for ironic-nostalgic value. It turned out to be a cut above other places like this, which is a pleasant change from the places that turn out to be on par or a cut below expectations. Especially since my expectations for them aren't very high.

The atmosphere here was fun. I'm pretty sure the older and younger women were family, and maybe the younger and the cook were married. In any case, the woman's kids came down from upstairs midway through my lunch to have their own. They were super-cute, getting into 'customer service' by shouting irrasshhaii whenever someone came in and asking mom if they could relay orders to the kitchen.

This guy was less cute, but not by much, and distinctly deserving of a photo. Smoke 'em if you got 'em, I always say.

Meanwhile, I got the C lunch and smoked it proper. The gyoza were of the small, well-cooked variety that I often like better (gyoza filling is never as strongly-flavored as I'd like, so less filling and more crisped skin to absorb sauce is ideal). The ramen was less overcooked than this type of place often does, and the soup was quite drinkable. (Although if you want to know how this soup could taste, there's still nothing better than Bigakuya. Incredible.) The oldest of the kids practically exploded with pride when I looked directly at her on the way out and said 'gososama'. She's got a bright future.

Nice when a nostalgia exercise plays out OK. Or at least not too badly.

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