Food & Drink | KYOTO RESTAURANTS

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

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