Nojo is Chef Greg Dunmore’s Yakitori (Kushiyaki) restaurant on Franklin at Linden in Hayes Valley. Thank goodness for another thoughtful and simple, but great Japanese eatery. This dining place complements the budding proliferation of Izakaya places around the city, such as Izakaya Sozai (Sunset) and Izakaya Yuzuki (Mission.)

Big windows provide great lighting for this spartan dining room. With the beautification of Franklin street (read: New trees), the view to the outside is improved, too. There are the usual tables in addition to the counter dining. An average yakitori place in Tokyo is smoky Continue reading



Takashi welcomes youTables at TakashiInstructive Wall DecorCounter dining at TakashiNiku-Uni Horumon-Moriawase (chef’s selection)
Horumon-Moriawase (chef’s selection)Dessert

Takashi, a set on Flickr.

Takashi Inoue graduated from the famous Tsuji Cooking Academy in Osaka and wanted to open a restaurant in Japan. But, encountering a lot of red tapes, he set his sight on New York, and so, four years ago, he landed in the city without any knowledge of the culinary world of New York.

He and his business partner Saheem Ali found a space for their “project,” and after a slow three-year gestation, a new carnivorous culinary experience was introduced to New York: TAKASHI. A complete story of how the restaurant began Continue reading


At brushstroke, a set on Flickr.

Just had an amazing night at brushstroke, Chef David Bouley’s latest restaurant in TriBeCa, ten years in the making, and in partnership with Yoshiki Tsuji from Japan.

My dining companion from the three-hour dinner (21:30-00:30) was Chef Mourad Lahlou from Aziza (San Francisco). Afterwards, we had an unexpected private audience with the owner and Chef David Bouley, where we listened to his personal stories and experiences Continue reading

Ippudo (一風堂)

Ippudo Enhancing TasteI remember the time I moved to America, in July of 1985, flying with Japan Airlines into San Francisco after a couple of nights in Tokyo. Little did I know that three months later, a popular Japanese ramen chain restaurant Ippudo (一風堂) landed on the other side of the continent, in New York. It was to be the Ramen King Shigemi Kawahara’s Ippudo’s first flagship outside of Japan, and it has stayed open serving to satiate the customers’ hunger for ramen.

I was forewarned by food reviews that the wait could be a long one, so I made effort to arrive long before dinner; but that was not to be. Instead, by the time I reached Ippudo, I saw a swelling crowd at the outside of the store; and my body slumped upon entering and Continue reading

Nobu Tokyo Presents Collaboration Night

Chef Kenichiro Togo and Chef Shohei ShimonoChef Shohei Shimono and Chef Nobuyuki MatsuhisaAssorted AppetizersUni, Ikura, and Abalone Cold Kelp Soup Cocktail StyleIce Plant Salad with Live Kuruma Shrimp and Ika, with White Miso dressingSweetfish Fritter with Warm Ratatouille Consomme
Roasted Madame Burgaud Challandais Duck with White and Red SauceWatermelon GranitaChef's Select Sushi and SoupFresh Musk Melon Soup and Coconut Cream with a touch of Estragon

Nobu Tokyo-Collaboration Night, a set on Flickr.

Tokyo’s “Nobu Presents” One Night Collaboration Dinner between Nobu’s own Kenichiro Togo and Chef Shohei Shimono from Le Jeu de l’Assiette on July 7, 2008. Nobu himself was present, although he was not in his usual uniform of the Chef’s jacket, the colorful and patterned pants, plus his sneakers; instead, he was donning a suit and made his way through all the guests. (Pictured here, Chef Shimono and Nobu). Needless to say,
the dining room was packed with Nobu legion of loyal diners.

While any night would find Nobu Tokyo always full, tonight was slightly different in that there was electricity in the air. As Togo-san and Shimono-san, and then Nobu himself and Continue reading