Waitresses in exquisite kimonos serve posh izakaya fare inside this 130-year-old teahouse on a cobbled corner by the romantic Shirakawa River, just north of Shijo-dori in Gion. The decor, featuring original paintings by renowned woodblock revivalist Clifton Karhu, is a feast for the eyes. The feast on the table is less exciting, especially for those familiar with Japanese cuisine, but sashimi served in icy tureens, delicious warm yuba tofu skin, and kamaboko fish
soup are all good. Don't miss the hoba miso—bean paste with mushrooms and green onions that is wrapped in a giant oak leaf and grilled at your table—on the à la carte menu. The excellent box lunch is a bargain at ¥2,800.
Oct 21, 2005
...it would be Yagembori (complete with it's own associated block-print artist). Admittedly, it has very different culture, food, and decor -- but this place made me think of Chez Panisse back home -- Japanese style. The food was fresh and delicious -- and a true Japanese dining experience. Beautiful, understated aesthetic. I TOTALLY fell in love with the entire staff -- exceptionally sweet and fun. I ate two delicious meals here. The second night
I was there I sat at the chef's bar alone with only Japanese-speaking diners and staff (I don't speak Japanese) -- yet somehow we all managed to communicate and laugh the night away ( we used Japanese-English dictionaries). A treasured experience -- I hope I get to go back someday.