Friday, May 2, 2014

Bistro Isomaru, Machida (ビストロ isomaru)

It's perhaps intentional that SFP Dining, the group that runs Bistro Isomaru, describes their various store formats as 'blands'. I'm not familiar with them - the Isomaru Suisan chain, a fried chicken wing place, and Kizuna Sushi seem to be the biggest ones. 'Bland' joking aside, it would be nice if there were more of this in America, because even as I complain that Isomaru is undifferentiated and dull, it's still pretty exciting compared to American sports bar formats. And I say this not as a person who hates his country and thinks other places are inherently more fascinating, I just say it as a realist.


Because this is pretty cool looking, innit? I mean, you can see why we would wander in here to kill time while waiting for the counter to open up at Ibuki, at least. 'Isomaru' sounds like a boat name, and the main Isomaru format looks indeed like a 'fresh off the boat, rough 'n' ready' kinda place. This is trying to be more refined - 'bistro' - but that also means the menu diverges from seafood and seemingly into 'Spain bar' territory.

We were the oldest guys by a fair few years. I would describe this as 'student' oriented, but I have a feeling I really mean it's mid-20's oriented, and I would never find myself in a student-oriented place even by accident. We drank some beers, and the seating charge just comes with a glass of grissini. They seem to have a thing about Heineken, which I have a thing against.

In the interests of keeping space open for Ibuki, we didn't eat much. The olives were poor, except the black ones, which were horrible. I guess including caper berries is a bit of a redeeming feature. The sardines had crushed garlic in the olive oil, and were reasonably OK as a result. What can you really ask for?

We were here for about 30 minutes before getting a call that our seats were ready, so I'd have to say 'Mission Accomplished'.
042-710-7315




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