I think about Trump again. When I do, I enter an ecstasy of horror and fascination. I revel in it. The sheer absurdity counterbalances the loathing and the terror, and gives me hope that, when we finally hear someone tell us "my fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over," the nightmare won't have gone on too long. Let's just hope the person delivering that message isn't Mike Pence!Read More
On Shiba Ramen's trip to Japan last month, we had some memorable meals in Tokyo and Kyoto, and I gave myself free rein to act like a food fanatic, taking pictures of most things we ate. Sushi, ramen, tonkatsu, gyoza, cod sperm, raw chicken, and even Denny's. This is as close as I'm ever going to get to being an online food commentator. Please enjoy the photos!Read More
Tokyo. I can never get enough of that place. Repeat: never. If you've been, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, scroll down and you'll understand. Tokyo is a giant of a city in every respect. But despite its size, intimate scenes of nature and even of urbanity are around every corner. Its food is the best in the world, its gardens unparalleled. Oh, and make no mistake, it's crazy. Teeming streets and cultural oddities abound.
Last month, we spent 48 high-intensity hours in Tokyo. We ate fabulously (without breaking the bank), visited glorious urban parks (Hama-rikyu Gardens and Shibakoen), strolled through the crowded streets of Ginza, Kabuki-cho, and Harakjuku, went shopping for restaurant supplies in Kappabashi and for Japanese finery in Tokyo Midtown, and spent an absolutely insane evening at the Robot Restaurant. In Tokyo, there is sushi for breakfast, and it is good.
Shiba Ramen Oakland is starting to come together fast. Most of the dirty work is winding up, and finish materials are starting to go in, with equipment to arrive next month. See what we started with, what materials we've chosen, and how we're putting them together to create a great downtown dining and drinking space.Read More
Last week, the Shiba Ramen executive team went to Japan for a whirlwind trip, starting in Hiroko's hometown of Hamamatsu, heading west to Kyoto and Hyogo, and then back to Tokyo. Fall colors were at their peak, the sake tours were outstanding, and we ate some amazing food. We'd like to share some of our photos, starting with the West and then moving on to Tokyo, food, and sake.
Our first day in Kyoto was soggy, but still beautiful. Kyoto was Japan's medieval capital, and the center of culture. When Kyoto was in its prime, Tokyo didn't even exist. Surrounded by wooded hills, this elegant city contains all the best of nature, history, culture, and architecture. It's much quieter than Tokyo, but every bit as distinctive.
After checking into our hotel, our first stop was, naturally, for ramen. We hoofed it in the drizzle to Sanjusan-gen-do, a 13th Century temple complex containing 1000 life-size Buddhist icon statutes surrounding one giant statue. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed inside, but the rainy temple grounds were beautiful. After a stop at the Kyoto National Museum, we took a train to Yaoya, an izakaya recommended to us by San Mateo sushi icon, Sushi Sam. It was oishii.
On our second day, we took a train ride further west to Hyogo Prefecture, where we did a day of sake tours at Kenbishi in Nada, and Konishi in Itami (which I'll write about separately). After sake, we headed back to Kyoto and saw a spectacular nighttime display of fall colors at Kodaiji Temple.