４−１５ 1 Chome
Much is made of Tokyo’s Michelin stars, particularly the sushi kind—thanks to mass media reviews and documentaries such as “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” Just about every raw fish fan around the globe is familiar with such big-name sushi eateries as Jiro Sukiyabashi and Sushi Mizutani. While they unquestionably deserve every bit of their legendary reputations (both in terms of quality and degree of wallet busting), there are other, lesser-known temples of ichythiodian idol worship that are equally deserving of such lavish attention. They offer very similar levels of gastronomic bliss but at less exorbitant prices. One of these unsung heroes is Sushi Yuu, located on a quiet backstreet of the fashionable Nishi-Azabu neighborhood. The owner-chef, Daisuke (who at 40 is positively a youngster in a food genre dominated by old men), is fluent in English and Russian and is a master at his craft—he expertly prepares his creations with an admirable diligence while engaging customers in lively conversation across three languages. One of the specialties at Sushi Yuu is tuna—it is generously served in every conceivable form, from melt-in-your-mouth otoro (fatty tuna) to filet seared with a blowtorch (aburitoro). It also has an extensive wine list, which is a relative rarity among Tokyo sushi places. Incidentally, you may find yourself sitting next to the likes of Hollywood celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Lady Gaga, who love to discreetly pop in for some tender morsels when they’re in town.
Japan, 〒106-0032 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 3 Chome−10−９ 三経２８ビル １階
If you’re out partying until the wee hours of the morning, chances are that sooner or later your appetite is bound to catch up with your thirst for excitement and you’ll find yourself jonesing for some grub. Depending upon where you live back home, your choices might be limited to fast food, convenience store snacks, deli meats at a supermarket, or perhaps pizza (if you’re lucky). In Tokyo, however, you have every conceivable type of cuisine available for face-stuffing, from North Indian to Southern French to ramen (in fact, the city may have more restaurants open at 4am than most other international cities do during lunchtime). One of my personal favorites that I like stumbling into at 4am during a booze-filled urban adventure (not that it happens very often these days, mind you) is Sushi Zanmai in Roppongi, one of several branches of the well-established sit-down house of sushi located throughout town. Not only are they open 24 hours a day (with a correspondingly interesting range of customers to match), but the quality and cost performance is admirable and the staff is always cheery no matter what sort of mutant rolls through the entrance. The sushi counter in particular is also a great place to randomly socialize with other non-teetolars and even make new drinking buddies.