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« (Rail)Road Trip: Los Angeles | Main | (Rail)Road Trip - Urasawa Beverly Hills(LA) Part 2 »

Tuesday, 12 December 2006



i appreciate your personal response. i now feel somewhat bad about the little flaming i gave you before. especially because your voice is one of food-education, exploration, and respect. in fact, you are one of the better sources of food information online.

when i first learned of urasawa, i was all excited about it. having been to japan many times i was eager to be able to enjoy the experience of "real" japanese cuisine during the 11 months of the year i'm not in japan (my wife and i go to tokyo each december to be with her family)

amusingly, it was my wife who raised the red flag here. normally she has no shortage of enthusiasm for trying japanese restaurants here in the states. but then we saw a receipt that someone posted on yelp. something like $1000 for two people. of course, they had also run up a big sake bill, which is easy to do.

so, some background. one of the best food experiences that she and i ever had in our lives was the time we rented a private room in an onsen outside of kyoto with our own private spring, attendants, and a personal chef. the cost? $450 a night. we stayed for two days. what did we get (and to be honest, i would have paid that much just for the hot springs)? we got two masterfully prepared kaiseki meals, one traditional breakfast, and, of course, a memory that would last a lifetime and an experience that changed my entire perspective on food.

i had been to japan about 7 times before this, and traveled most of the country by train, getting off whenever there was a local cuisine that a certain place was known for. but the pig here was caught in the wild, the gobo grew in the surrounding hills, the fish was caught from the stream outdoors, and the tofu was made from that wonderful kyoto water, and so on. yes, ... $450 a night.

but even in tokyo, kaiseki food is between $150-300 per person, prepared by a chef who has been refining his work over the course of 30 years. of course, there is the distance ... and maybe in-between times urasawa is worth it. but there are plenty of other wonderful places to hold us over for the other 11 months out of the year. so unless someone else was paying, i would have a hard time justifying urasawa.

but your pictures and writings about it do tempt me, and i'm sure it's quite spectacular.


my bad. i was under the impression urasawa was kaiseki food. just checked out their menu again... it's omakase style sushi.

ok, so of course jiro, kyuubei, etc ... come to mind for comparison's sake. eaten at both, ~$250 each place. of course this was when it was 120 yen/dollar.

but the omakase at sushi daiwa in tsukiji fish market (at an ungodly 5am) should not be underestimated. cost: $30/person. sure, it doesn't have the presentation and flair. hey it's 5am... who cares? the important thing there is that the fish came off the boat only an hour before and landed in one of the most famous fish markets in japan. good enough for me.

if you go, make sure to get the freshly made dango around the corner. still warm!!


Hi Joshu - No problem. I try to reply to as many comments as possible, other than those who are shills or have some other "agenda". It is my way of showing appreciation for the time and effort taken out to comment and read. It is one of my goals to visit Tsukiji Fish Market, so I will without a doubt eat at Daiwa Sushi. I wish I was able to travel more. Since I "know you" now, I'll be sure to hit you up for some recs......

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