Burlesque: Hamburgers and haircuts

Am I alone in thinking that some of the best-looking restaurants in Japan turn out to be hair salons?

So many of the hairdressing shops here look like sleek places you’d want to eat in, and my heart sinks a little when I notice the “cut menu” instead of the food menu. Burlesque, however, is a “cut space” and (crucially) an “eat space,” meaning a restaurant inside a hairdressers.

To preclude any “there’s a hair in my soup” comments, rest assured that there isn’t any soup on the menu: It’s burgers all the way.

The way Burlesque is set up, it’s more like a hairdressers inside a burger shack than vice versa. The salon is behind a glass partition at the back of the restaurant, and a partition keeps the cuttings and clippings away from the food. The decor is more retro — bare cement walls, big indoor house plants and plenty of Americana — than burlesque, but the concept is burlesque none the less.

The burgers? It’s a limited hipster-ish menu that includes pulled pork and a Mexican burger besides standards such as bacon and cheese. The Mexican burger came with a hefty serving of jalapeno peppers and sour cream.

The fries are similar to those served at McDonald, but a poor imitation. Keeping with the U.S. connection, there’s Brooklyn lager on tap.

3 Kitanoguchicho, Suzaku, Shimogyoku, Kyoto; 075-874-365; nearest station: Tambaguchi; open 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; closed Wed.; burgers from ¥700; smoking OK; Japanese and English menu; some English spoken

In line with the nationwide state of emergency declared on April 16, the government is strongly requesting that residents stay at home whenever possible and refrain from visiting bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.
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