Not far from Gion Kaburenjo Theater, a black-and-white latticed storefront with a lantern above the door conceals a vegetable lover's paradise. The dining area is raised so that those seated on floor cushions are at eye level with the busy chefs in the open kitchen. Hollowed-out flooring beneath the tables and at the long bar make tatami-mat dining possible without stiff knees. For a nice primer on Kyoto's essential dishes, opt for the Fushimi menu or the more-extensive
Gosho menu. Suishin brings out the flavors of local organic vegetables, fish, and meats with a conspicuously restrained hand, creating flavors so light they seem to float in your mouth. Suishin, meaning drunken heart, is a popular chain with other branches around the city.