Saturday, April 23, 2011
But the real quirks are sometimes beneath the surface. Take this place - it would be all too easy to say the dirty, disorganized exterior is a sign of a similar mastermind somewhere in it labrynthine depths. And sometimes the easy path is right, because this is a strange place, run by a weird dude.
We were on safari with the Peafowl - starting in Higashi Nakano with a trip to sake-heaven Machidaya, then a random walk through the outlying reaches of northern Nakano (there's a nice shotengai north of Broadway), and rejection from a packed-and-heaving Okajoki. You know why I steered us in to Ajiyoshi, right? It says "300 types of sake" outside. I'm skeptical of any selection that big, but I also can't resist.
The master briefly left his lair behind the counter to ask what we wanted to drink. The females in our party allowed as how they'd like water, which prompted some consternation. "This is a drinking place. You have to get a drink." "Oh, we'll eat, but we just want water." "No, it's a drinking place. Japan is like that." He shuffled off unhappily with only an order for a solitary Pea-beer under his belt.
Biwa no Choju, but remember that Ususakura from last time at Zen in Kyoto? Or how about, ohhh, I dunno, Nami no Oto? And Matsu no Tsukasa is currently on my list to try more of.)
To make a long story endless, he turned up with this glass from Kitami Brewing, their 'just squeezed' version, and it was sweet, simple, and good. But he didn't bring the bottle. When I asked to see it, he grudgingly put it on the top of the display case, and admonished me not to take off the plastic bag around it. Thanks, guy. And by the way, serving sake in champagne glasses is still twee. Quit it.
Tip for restauranteurs: Upgrade your attitude and your customers will want to spend enough money to justify you hiring a waitress.
Yes, I thought the whole thing was pretty hilarious. No, I won't be going back.
This guy didn't seem to mind it too much, but thought it was quirky and a little expensive.