Mom’s in town, which means lots and lots of Japanese food!
Takashi does the Japanese vibe well, so well in fact that it’s not for a dilettante of this cuisine. You should be here (during its regular dining hours) to experience all parts of the cow. For the ramen-goers, there’s only a midnight and 12:45 am seating on Fridays and Saturdays. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org after 5 pm on the Monday before the weekend you want to go.)
Anyway, back to the grill.
It’s not for the faint of heart. Their chief specialty is a sampling of cow offal –tenderly marinated pieces of heart, liver, intestine, stomach and sweetbread.
The portions are small, but any more than that would likely pull your jaw. Fresh offal as it’s served here is firm and chewy to the core after you grill it.
If you’re not down for unique cow parts, stick to the premium kobe kalbi, marbled with lines of fat for that buttery sizzle as it grills. It’s a notch above what you’ll get at Gyu-kaku, but so are the prices.
For a little break from the cow, there are appetizers. The Gyutoro-Temaki sushi is a set of finely minced toro molded on top of a fluffy bed of rice to look like your typical tuna negiri. I’d say the rice here outshines the toro here, which the mincing process seems to have sapped out a lot of its flavor. Stick to the niku-uni, which seems much more popular her.
We also tried the bone marrow. It comes oozing out of the bone and topped before you with a sizzling hot peanut oil sauce.
But the star of the night came in its dessert. The Madagascar vanilla sundae is the only choice, and the only way to get it is the works — with the “rice flour dumplings” (aka mochi), the black sesame and soybean flour powder, and sweat red beans, all topped with a thick green tea sauce.
The attention to detail here, from its atmosphere to its marinades, rings true to the Japanese style of cuisine. There’s a real boutique feel that gives it a charm unlike those on St. Marks or other Japanese barbecue chains. Be prepared to pay up, but worthwhile for any meat connoisseur.