Path

It's not hard for a restaurant to generate buzz. All it takes is a strong design, cool music — on vinyl, of course — and some hot PR. But to maintain that level of vibrancy, it needs to be good. It also helps if ...

Umami Burger

Umami is hardly a foreign concept in Japan. After all, this is the land where the so-called fifth taste was isolated, named and promptly marketed to the outside world. Now, it's come full circle: Umami Burger has touched down in Aoyama, bringing the premium product ...

Noz

Futoshi Ota has lofty goals for Noz, a new restaurant that brings the grand vision of his company one step closer to reality. "I want people in Japan to know what real agriculture, what the real organic culture is like. What's a healthy way of ...

Hayashi

The ticket machine at the door to Hayashi looks more like a Zen riddle than a method of ordering noodles. The columns and rows of buttons stand empty and blank, mocking all illusion of choice: egg or no egg; standard or extra grilled pork (options ...

Torikado

Tokyo has no shortage of yakitori restaurants. They range from funky, smoky hole-in-the-wall grills to elegant emporia serving prime skewers of the finest fowl. But there's nowhere quite like Torikado. At the bottom of an anonymous flight of stairs, you push through a heavy wooden ...

Teianda

On the corner of Ogimachi Park directly west of Umeda you'll find a little oasis of Okinawan cuisine and culture. At Teianda they take their culture and food seriously, but not overbearingly so. Upstairs there's a stage for visiting musicians and artists from the southern ...

Gomachu

At Gomachu, tofu is fun, and possibly even exciting. It may even be sexy — the jury is still out. I realize I'm pushing the boat on a foodstuff that, while globally praised for its nutritional value, has about as much visual appeal as a ...

Los Barbados

From African chicken to Zanzibar pizza, the menu at Los Barbados runs the full gamut of eclectic. Push through the door of this eight-seat diner and you're in a parallel continent where Tokyo meets Kinshasa, with lashings of Middle Eastern flavors, too. Daisuke Uekawa, who ...

Champagne & Gyoza Bar

It's gyōza time. These 1½-bite pan-fried dumplings — crisp and brown underneath, moist and meaty inside — may have their roots in China, but they're as deeply embedded in Japanese hearts and the daily diet as ramen and chahan (fried rice). In the past, gyōza ...

Asano

This one is for the shoppers, or for those who have to go shopping but would rather be drinking sake. On the ground floor of Kyoto Aeon Mall, directly behind Kyoto Station, and just beyond the cash registers at Kohyo supermarket, you'll find Asano, ...