The uptown shojin establishments may have the edge in terms of refinement, but Noguchi's food has all the honest virtues of the best home cooking -- unadulterated flavor and, better still, no artificial additives. He also rejects the use of refined sugar, which is so often used to excess in Japanese vegetarian cooking.
Sosaibo: Zen to warm the soul
Name (J) 蔬菜坊
Dinner price range
¥5,000 or more
Zen and fine sake -- now that's what we call enlightenment.
For those of us not accustomed to zazen, those zabuton cushions are quite thin.
Drinks Beer from ¥500; sake from ¥500
Number of seats 10 (plus a counter that can seat four)
BGM U.S. pop staples from the 1950s and '60s
Smoking No smoking
4-1-9 Meguro-Honcho, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
6:30 p.m.-midnight Mondy-Friday, also second Saturday of month.
Cash, Credit Card
Transport From the station, walk alongside the Meguro Line tracks (in the direction of Denenchofu) to the first large street, then turn right. At the third set of lights (Meguro-Honcho 5), continue for a further 50 meters, then take the first side street to the left (by a large green sign for a dental clinic). Sosaibo is on the left after 20 meters.