Skramzlife Tokyo Report July 2018

Just got back from an epic 11 nights in Tokyo… shout out to @J_L for some recs.

Overall, some really nice meals and spent too much ;p. The highlights were the michelin ramen for me.

TSUTA Michelin Ramen -

This place is to die for, this was my favorite place I went to in Tokyo… Their signature ramen is a truffle shoyu ramen broth. By far the tastiest ramen i’ve ever had. Worth the hype. You have to show up early and get a ticket for a specific time in the day and give a 1000 yen deposit. I got there at 9am and got the first sitting at 11am. The second time we got there at 10am and got a 12pm sitting (tried to bang bang Nakiryu in the 2 hour gap LOL but they were closed that day)


Went back a second time, and got both the first bowl and the spicy sardine pepper bowl… Hard to finish both, the chefs were impressed we killed two bowls.


Bear Pond Espresso in Shimokitazawa -

Insanely tasty espresso, has more of a chocolate thick consistancy. Didn’t get a chance to try their famous angel stain, but definitely hit this place up.

Kotetsu Ramen in Shimokitazawa, highly recommended young and nice owners. -



Tsunahachi Tempura in Shinkuku -

Nice Tempura meal in Shinjuku at Tsunahachi…Didn’t snap many pics but recommended if looking for nice higher end tempura (without breaking the bank)


Isomura Honten in Ginza for Kushiage -

Really tasty Kushiage…kinda like lighly friend tempura on sticks. got the set menu…didn’t snap many pics but enjoyed this more than Tsunahachi. Loved their mustard sauce.


Straight razor shave and manicure at Kitodoko Barber in Shibuya (recommended) -

Melon De Melon Bakery in Otsuka


Bar Evans in Ginza -

Super nice intimate cocktail bar in Ginza, immaculate design inside and cool jazz on the speakers. Expensive $25 usd a drink.


Sushi Miyaba for Lunch -

Loved this place, old school sushi spot with great edomae. We had so much sake with this meal and only came out to about $70 usd a person. I might have missed a nigiri in these pictures.


Baseball game at Tokyo dome.…food was HORRIBLE. Fun game but don’t eat the food.


Italian at Il Buttero in Shibuya -

This place came recommended by a colleague and wanted to try out fine italian in Tokyo. Surprisingly we were the only people in the whole restaurants (9pm res). The food was pretty decent but expensive. Nothing to write home about, probably the meal wish I wouldn’t have done the most on this trip.


Ichiryu Chinese style ramen in Shimokitozawa -

Nice and gingery ramen broth here. Got the gyoza as well. Not as good as Kotetsu in the same neighborhood though.



Jiro Roppongi Hills -

Ok Jiro Roppongi Hills with Jiro’s second son. Truthfully, this was a cool experience but did not enjoy the food as much as other sushi spots I went to (including at the airport). Very expensive, I think about $350 usd. I’m still a newbie high end sushi eater, so maybe I don’t have the pallet for the higher end/exotic stuff he was serving.

Got the sashimi/sushi omakase.

Craziest thing happened though, there were a Chinese son and mother in our sitting. Into the sushi portion, the mother just stops eating the sushi…and the son tells the Itamae that she does not eat sushi. He flips out and has a meltdown… Can’t believe how rude and stupid these tourists were…you go to Jiro and you don’t eat sushi. He still charged them and was talking shit the entire time…told them never to come back LOL. He was super nice to us though, good guy.


Three tuna pieces, lean— medium and fatty…We liked the medium the best


I’m not a big uni guy, but this Uni from Okkaido was insane


Good Juice in Shibuya, straight out of Santa Monica


Ukatei Teppanyaki in Omotesando -

This was a really nice lunch we had. I think it was about $100 USD before drinks. Really nice seafood / waygu / desert. Really classy spot, definitely recommended.

This sashimi dish was superb





Sushi Asaba in Nishi Azabu -

This was our favorite sushi meal, lasted about 3 hours and 15 minutes (compared to Jiro 1 hour)…Cost was closer to $225 pp with Sake as well. Recommended by a colleague. GO HERE.

No pictures were allowed but I was still able to sneak some. The last roll (pictured) was a mix of all the nigiri peaces into one humongous hand roll…it was insane.




Tonkatsu Maisen Shibuya

Pretty standard and delicious Tonkatsu in a department store in Shibuya. Nice.


Pizza Slice in Shibuya -

My friends wanted to try this Pizza place called Pizza slice… They said it was great but I thought it was super bland… Funny interior with everything in English trying to be an American Pizza joint. It’s no Desano in Los Angeles.


Ichiran 24 hour ramen in Shibuya

Hit this at around 4am, blacked out drunk with my buddies. Good times and pretty damn decent ramen.


Harajuku Gyoza -

A tourist trap, but pretty damn good Gyoza.


The Great Burger in Shibuya -

This place always had a huge line so we decided to grab some Bacon Waygu Cheeseburgers… It was decent but had nothing on a great burger like Golden State in Los Angeles IMO. Prob as good as you’re gonna get for an Americana style burger in Tokyo though.


Nakiryu Michelin Ramen -

The second of two Michelin ramenyas in Tokyo… This one specializing in spicy Tan Tan Men. This place was VERY VERY good but Tsuta’s truffle ramen is better still. Definitely recommend going to both if you can. Long wait here (1.5 hours).

Got the thick cut Charsiu with the spicy mala ramen. Insanely good.



The Roastery in northern Shibuya -

really really nice third wave coffee shop in Shibuya went here a couple times… Soft serve was bomb


Sushi Kyotatsu at Narita Terminal 1 -

Sadly last meal heading back to LA. Wanted to hit one more sushiya and this place was actually VERY good. Got the omakase set, it was excellent.









Got japan fomo and bang banged a Tempura Soba and gyoza right after this sushi in the airport LOL


Chicken Curry on ANA flight back home


Thanks again for all the recommendations, hope you enjoyed my post!


And that’s why a lot of places are reluctant to take reservations from gaijin and why we can’t have nice things.

When I was at sushi mizutani, some foreigners showed up 1.5 hours late to their reservation (it worked out well for us as we got mizutani-san all to ourselves). When they finally showed up reeking of perfume they were loud and rude and didn’t even eat all the sushi.

Thanks for the report.

Looks like you did well!

Thanks for reporting back. Jiro Roppongi used to be better than what you reported - sorry for your downhill experience with the food there.

Will bookmark Tsuta and Sushi Asaba. Domo arigato gozaimasu.

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Had a similar incident at Sawada. Party of 3 Chinese women, 2 of whom quit eating anything midway through the meal. Sawada was very angry and basically refused to acknowledge them the rest of the night.

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Good grief, I’ve been fortunate not to experience any poorly behaving diners. Jeez, I’d be infuriated in their shoes and kick em out and charge their card too. Ruining future gaijin diner prospects!!!

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utterly disgraceful, it was so awkward and embarrassing…

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Oh that was not the only one! Same trip, at Yoshitake: sat next to an overly loud couple from Hong Kong who spent the entire meal photographing, live streaming (with very loud narration!), their meal, and between the two of them had maybe 5 or 6 phones/devices sitting on top of the sushi bar the entire time. They were annoying as all get out, but I think they were investors in the HK branch of Yoahitake and Yoshitake-san was very cordial to them. Ruined the meal for everyone else though.

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OMG twice on the same trip :grimacing::scream:

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Incredibly rude and boorish behavior indeed.

Time to pass out some fake Chinese gov’t business cards from the National Supervision Commission (NSC), which is tasked with Xi Jinping’s investigation of corruption at all levels of Chinese society…


I think something like this happened at the Jiro Honten, too, a few years back. Girl then posted on Weibo or something and made a huge deal about how “rude” Jiro was. Eventually, she got flamed and apologized after a pretty public spat.

What gets me is why would one go through all the trouble (reservations aren’t impossible, but they aren’t easy) to book Jiro if he/she doesn’t eat sushi? Not just a waste of money, not just a selfish act of taking up someone else’s seat, but also just kind of dense?

At Sushi Amane in NY, two couples were watching videos (with sound on) of Chinese hot pot while they ate their sushi (they were moderately scolded at first for letting the sushi just sit for a few minutes). Why not just go eat hot pot then?

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“It was reported that Lin and her four friends, who were all Chinese, turned up late at the restaurant in Roppongi, which was managed by Master Jiro’s son, Takashi. Despite being over 40 minutes late, Lin and her friends did not apologize. In fact, they claimed that they were too rushed.”

40 mins late = 2 meals at the Honten? (I get this is the one in Roppongi)

“She said that she only went to the sushi bar because it was part of her job and not because she wanted to”

What kind of job does this girl have?? “Shit, I have to go to Noma this time.”

“Not long after that, the management saw that there were huge cultural differences and the sushi master finally understood Lin’s circumstances. He smiled at her and kindly told her to visit them again when she acquires a taste for sushi.”

Alright then.

I was seriously wasn’t aware these incidents are as pervasive. It’s no wonder reservations are being scrutinized as closely. When I made my reservation at Sawada with the hotel concierge, it was like filing out a questionnaire for the first visit to a new Doctor.

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Sawada-san is actually a very nice man. Once you pass the extreme vetting.

But his food is from the gods, and completely worth the minimal hassle.


For any espresso lovers:

This is the best espresso that I have ever had.
Drinking it was a blessing and a curse.

I have been on a never-ending journey to find an espresso that can contend with (owner) Katsu’s.
Nothing has ever come remotely close to his “Angel Stain”.
It is not like any other espresso that I have ever had. The taste and the mouthfeel are just completely different.

If you ever find yourself in Tokyo, make a point of getting to Shimokitazawa for an Angel Stain. Make sure you get there during the small window of time that it is being served.

Here is an article from Sprudge:

@skramzlife: Are you sure you did not get an Angel Stain? Angel Stain is the name of the espresso that he serves.


This Angel stain espresso sounds AMAZEBALLS! So is it a super thick syrupy consistency…similar to melted chocolate or chocolate syrup?

Yes, volume is a little more than enough to cover your tongue. Consistency is super thick.
There is a tiny bit of granularity.

Here is a photo:
Source: Google Search, Adam Goldberg’s Twitter @LifeWorthEating

Full amount (before drinking):