Hayashi

Review excerpt: The line outside Hayashi is rarely less than 30 minutes long. Once seated, prepare to meditate some more: There is little to look at and nothing to hear but the muffled sound of satisfied slurping. The bowl, when it arrives, is always worth ...

Los Barbados

Review excerpt: Start with a plate of mixed matzah, Uekawa’s version of Lebanese mezze. Follow up with falafels or Turkish spring rolls stuffed with minced lamb. Don’t overlook the Tunisian brik a l’oeuf, egg mixed with tuna, potato and cheese, deep-fried in triangles of ...

Ata

For a self-proclaimed seafood bistro, Ata covers a lot of territory — much like its dynamic owner-chef Satoshi Kakegawa has done in his short career.

Tempu

Review excerpt: Tempu is in no way a destination restaurant. It’s a six-minute schlep beside the tracks from JR Shibuya Station, and when you arrive all you’ll find is a cluttered hole-in-the-wall that fits eight at a pinch, all standing. But it’s this funky setting ...

Kotaro

Review excerpt: Essentially, Kotaro is an izakaya, a tavern where sake and food share equal billing, and both are there to accompany conversation and relaxation at the end of the day. But don’t arrive expecting boisterous revelry and red-faced salarymen drinking cheap highballs. Here the ...

Tabela

Eleven years later, Tabela's laid-back style, funky furnishings and righteous, Middle Eastern-inflected menu feel just as comfortable as ever. Slide behind a well-patinated table or, if you’re with friends, into one of three semi-private booths modeled after European train compartments. Then start with an ...

Pignon

Review excerpt: The owner-chef Rimpei Yoshikawa of Pignon is anything but a typical Tokyo French chef. He drives an old Citroen 2CV better suited to 1960s Paris than the outer fringes of Shibuya. He prefers T-shirts to chef’s whites, tying his hair back in a ...

Menya Nukaji

Review excerpt: Nukui’s ramen and tsukemen (dipping noodles) are rich, honest and wholesome. While the soup is thick — in the popular tonkotsu-gyokai (pork and seafood) style — the noodles are silky-smooth. He also makes a spicy variant (kara-ramen or kara-tsukemen) that is especially ...

Cafe Bleu

The real sign of Maruyama-cho’s evolution is that it now has a daytime presence, too — especially since the opening of Cafe Bleu. Glass-fronted and light-filled, this is the latest outlet from the folks at To-vi (Buchi,Bongout Noh, Kitchen Cero, Kinsai) and bears their ...