Ajiro

I ate my lunch at Ajiro in the company of a bewildered farmer with a comical Donald Trump-like mop of hair. But looks were the least of his concern; rather it was a bull that had got the better of him, escaping from the ...

Soba Dokoro Sasaki

Soba Dokoro Sasaki is worth a stopover if you're heading north into Kyoto's hills to catch the trees in their autumnal colors. It's billed as a soba restaurant, but there's plenty of udon and tempura dishes on the menu, too. Your best bet is ...

Tempura Endo Yasaka

After reading the recent review by Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold of Tempura Endo's Beverly Hills restaurant I thought it was high time I went to the original. Tempura Endo Yasaka in Kyoto is housed in an ornate wooden teahouse south of Gion; ...

Sarasa Nishijin

Sarasa Nishijin is a sentō (bathhouse) — well, it used to be. But using the past tense here belies how much of its old spirit still lives on. The waters may have drained away — replaced by sofas, tables, chairs and people lounging about ...

Hyakushokuya

Hyakushokuya, "100 meal shop," makes 100 meals a day — and that's it. The daily challenge for staff is to make and serve them as fast possible, so that they can take the rest of the day off. It seems that this is typically ...

Moriwaki

One of my favorite occasions to eat out in Japan is after returning from a long trip abroad. I have learned to empathize with those Japanese tourists who can't wait to get home and eat Japanese rice after a whirlwind tour of Europe. But, incidentally, ...

Grill Aoi

The Japanese guriru ("grill" meaning a restaurant, not a cooking tool) is an interesting mix of new, borrowed and adapted ideas. Grill Aoi, a family-owned diner tucked away on a quiet side street between Gojo and Shijo, has no shortage of such ideas. Aoi is ...

Pacuchi Deli

When you've been to enough Japanese restaurants, you come to realize that a bowl of rice or miso soup can foretell the quality of an establishment's other dishes. I like to think this rule also applies to a serving of pad thai at a ...

Inakatei

When faced with a six-page menu allied with a supplementary page loaded with specials and all in a language that makes less sense to you than abstract art, what do you do? Get up and leave is one answer, as proven by the nearby ...

Cafe Salon

Kitayama is five stops on the subway from downtown Kyoto, but it might as well be a million miles away for the tourists who trudge around the city in search of Kyoto tropes: temples, shrines, teahouses and geishas who are more than likely tourists ...