Once again a plate of small intestines was set before me, even though I had vowed never to travel down that dis-gustatory path. It all began a few years earlier, at an all-you-can-eat parilla in Uruguay, when this tract of “meat” was served up in place of steak. By the end of plate one, I could order no more. But here in Japan, the small intestines bubbled away in a large pan on our table along with udon and cabbage and the miso broth that one of my fellow diners explained “was a very good way to disappear the bad smell” of such a shitty organ. I took a big sip of Japanese whiskey before diving in.
I was only in Tokyo for Sunday and Monday, but surfing Japan was a top priority. Of those two days, however, only the second seemed to promise any swell. A few years prior, I had met a Japanese surfer in Panama; he could only say two words in English: surf and food. When I told him that I wanted to surf in Japan one day, he held up a thumb and said “Chiba. Surf. Enami.” Enami, I figured, from my understanding of the word tsunami and from the constant approval his one thumb kept offering meant “good wave.”
Before arriving in Tokyo, I had attempted to plot out my meals. I had enough time for seven. But as I researched the city, a place that has the most Michelin-starred restaurants than any other destination in the world, I began to feel overwhelmed. The best sushi in Tokyo was upwards of $200 per person and closed on Sundays, one of the two full days that I would be in Tokyo. And how did I narrow down the ramen spots? What about kaiseki? Read more
I waited in the hot Tokyo sun at six in the morning for four and a half hours to eat at Sushi Dai. Four and a half hours at six in the morning! (And I rarely use exclamation marks.) But, based on its reputation as serving some of the best sushi in Tokyo, it was really the only thing that I had wanted to do in the city. And unlike most sushi restaurants in the city that charge upwards of $200 for a meal, Sushi Dai only charges about $35 for their set breakfast or lunch (depending on when you get admitted). Read more
Before arriving in Korea, all I had ever heard about drinking in Korea was that I was going to be imbibing plenty of soju. But that was actually the very last drink I had in the country, for Korea is a land of many good beverages.