Tuesday, April 29, 2014
But first, 'seen on the train'. My French isn't what it once was, and it wasn't what it ever needed to be, but I'm pretty sure both parts of this are wrong. Is this a new trend - 'Frapanese'?
Mmmmmmachida! I was here because I love exploring Japan so much, so despite the repeated protestations of everyone I know ("Machida sucks", "I hate Machida", and "There's nothing good there. It's just department stores and chain restaurants.") I set out to find what there was to find. There are more quirks than many towns will offer - a little warren of tiny shops like Harmonica Yokocho in Kichijoji, tons of vintage clothing, and a lot of foreign massage workers near the station after hours. And all the elevated walkways around the station, probably there just to create construction jobs at some point in the past. I was surprisingly optimistic, seeing the place after dark like this.
I didn't have any trouble getting into the restaurant, for obvious reasons. This is a bit of the ol' "great in the 80's" decorating style. Which always give me pause.
As soon as I sat down, the old fellow to my right introduced himself in halting English. He turned out to be a PhD professor of dental implantology and had studied in Michigan for three years. Then the waitress introduced herself in English. She studied in Boston for 9 months. This was all very perplexing, especially since it turned out I was the first foreigner ever to cross their threshold in 6 years of operation.
The couple to the left was friendly, but the guy was annoying. Come to think of it, I'm not sure why I liked the woman - she gave me an extended speech about she once went to America and the food was all terrible except for one thing, and it took her 5 minutes to remember that that thing was 'brownies'. The other couple seemed nice but didn't say a word in my direction. Mostly I talked to the master and the waitress about sake, and life in Japan, and life in America.
Tsuchi to Ao last week - Shoryu Hourai, but now that I look, that seems to have been a different Hourai. This one was a 12% alcohol genshu. Anyone in the audience heard of that? A first for me, Soft and delicious.
In this case, despite the Machida location, there might really be a next time.
OK, I liked it enough that I went back with other people. They were full on a Friday night, so we had to wait for about 40 minutes to get in.
Whole fried fish as a starter - eat the bones and everything. Flounder and squid sashimi, both excellent. Master preparing the kuromutsu that shows up in the next picture. Best when eaten warmer - the flavor seems to be limited by cold. Spring vegetable tempura including udo and urui (which I include to remind myself of the name, since I've had it a couple times before but had forgotten). Fried snapper, with the lovely crispy scales left on. The other whole fried fish starter to round out the set.