Fusama ni Kakero

Usually I'm three sheets to the wind when I slurp down ramen, but the ramen at Fusama ni Kakero is worth staying sober for. Like at nearly every ramen establishment there's a few choices in broth, but I was told to go with the shio-ramen ...

Tottuan

Is there ever a good time to be under a train? Well, yes. If it happens to be in Tottuan, which is directly under the loop line in Osaka. Every time a train rolls by you hear it, feel it — but not in ...

Sushi Masa

Sushi Masa is a locals' joint, the kind of place where everybody knows your name; by the end of the night they knew mine, too. It isn't hard to make yourself known: There's a kitchen, a counter, two tables and a few seats, so ...

Mantenya

Where would a journalist be without his or her contacts? Most likely not in Mantenya, a pocket-sized tempura restaurant near Tenma in Osaka. I am based in Kyoto, so Osaka is a bit of a known unknown. Luckily I have two contacts who have ...

Outback Steakhouse - Umeda

One of The Outback's most popular menu items for weekend and holiday dinners is the prime rib set. The prime rib is slowly roasted at low heat and served in a thick cut, allowing customers to enjoy authentic, juicy American-style roast beef. To satisfy even ...

Eloge de l'Ombre

What makes a good restaurant? It's a pretty basic question, and one that I imagine is on most people's minds, even if you aren't actively aware of it. With a new restaurant, such as EO, this question and the search for answers are more ...

Standard Bookstore

If you want to know how a country thinks or is titillated, a bookstore is a good place to start. Combine this with a cup of coffee and you could call it a day, or just a lunch break. Bookstores and coffee shops are ...

Baan Suki

One of the most memorable, cheapest and spiciest dishes I've ever had was also the first bite I ate in Thailand. It was a few years back, on an island south of Bangkok. We had just arrived at our hotel and bolted to the ...

Que Rico

In the spirit of creating fashionable statements that promptly wither out of mode ("Orange is the new black," "Spring is the new summer"), here's one for the list: In Osaka, "Tenma is the new Fukushima." The two areas have much in common: Both fan ...

Shiogensui

The shinkansen isn't the only thing connecting Okayama to Osaka these days. You can add shio (salt) ramen to that list. I had my first bowl of Shiogensui ramen in Soja, Okayama Prefecture. It's also where I had my second bowl, on another occasion, ...