Monday, October 19, 2009

Tokyo -- Favorite Sushi

Ask a Japanese person to name the best sushi restaurant and he or she will never name one of the famous places but rather a place near home, where he or she and the chef have a relationship and the dining experience is predictable, delicious and comfortable. Our favorite is Isokan, located in Meidaimae, about 40 minutes by public transportation from the center of Tokyo. We were introduced to Isokan by friends who live in Tokyo and New York and who have been going there for 40 years. The master (pictured above) worked at the famous Kanpachi (hence the "kan" in his name) before setting out on his own in the 1960s. You can see that he is totally at ease and in command of his restaurant.

What makes Isokan special is the food - delicious and rare - and, as stated above, our relationship, which guarantees a relaxed and comfortable evening. All his products (tuna, fresh shrimp, squid, etc.) are of impeccable freshness, but there is more: this is the only place that I (or my more knowledgeable friends) know of where you can get octopus eggs, and his also hard-to-find ainameko (sperm of the ainame fish) resembles foie gras in texture, taste and appearance. The special baked oysters, which resemble Oysters Rockefeller, are exquisite. Sushi just doesn't get any better than this.

Click on "More" below for pictures.

Grilled octopus and ainameko

Baked oyster and octopus eggs

Bobby Jay


Robert Yellin said...

Bobby-J-san; So sorry I missed a visit with you here in Numazu, hopefully next time, where I would be honored if you let me show you my favorite sushi dive--Kagura--chef was in Tokyo for years. Simple and superb. Of course, matched with a Shizuoka sake--Isojiman--topped off in a Nakamura Makoto Bizen guinomi.

Bobby Jay said...


I too am sorry to have missed you this trip. I am eager to try both the sushi and the sake!

TknTroll said...

Can you please share the address of this place? I am a long-time customer of his disciple here in California and will be in Tokyo on vacation at the end of this month.