I spent a good part of the day going over my prospective restaurant list for the upcoming Tokyo visit. Some of you may think I’m nuts researching so early given that I don’t hit Nihon until this winter, but there’s a lot to get through and you have to reserve early. In some cases, very early – three months in advance! Anyway, between Chowhound, Egullet, Bento Box, SunnyPages, and assorted foodie blogs, I think I’m in a position to make a somewhat informed decision. When I last reported on my progress, I had trimmed the restaurant list from an unwieldy 96 to a much more doable 51. Alas, between then and now, I’ve ended up adding a few, so that number has ballooned to 74. Sadly, even with double lunches AND double dinners, I wouldn’t make it so I’m going to have to pare down the roster yet again. But it’s tough. They all sound so good and/or intriguing and/or so bizarrely outlandish it’s near impossible to decide. Don’t believe me? Check out some of the restaurants in the running along with the accompanying descriptions that had me taking notice…
Akarichitei: “The habanero chicken is so hot that customers must don surgical gloves to handle it”.
Argent Aso: “Smoked Iberico pork with garlic infused cream”.
Birdland: “…one of Tokyo’s most famous yakitori restaurants, has chicken so fresh that it can be eaten rare. Bonbochi is the fatty bits near the tail, grilled up to juicy, savory bombs. Liver is rich and tender, sunagimo (gizzard) is chewy, hatsu (heart) has a nice mouthfeel, while nankotsu (cartilage; below) gives your jaws a workout”.
Chez Matuso: “Stewed baby boar with white bean puree”.
Ginza La Tour: “Foie Gras Royale slow-cooked for 4 hours then infused with Sauterne”
Gordon Ramsay: “”Oven-roasted pigeon wrapped in prosciutto with foie gras, confit of legs, mushroom ragout, prune puree and almond foam”.
Hiramatsu: “Roast lamb and onion compote with truffle sauce”
Kamiya Nokizaka: “Pork belly cooked in black vinegar and duck slow cooked in its own fat with wine”.
Kimukatsu: “Their unique concept is tonkatsu done more ways than you ever thought possible egg, garlic, miso, plum, black sesame, negi, cheese and, of course, plain. The meat itself is different to the classic tonkatsu, being made up of layers of pork like a millefeuille, crumbed and then deep fried and is quite delicious”.
Kodama: “Matsutake ice cream”.
La Bisboccia: “The parmigiano risotto, served in a bowl made of cheese, is unforgettable”.
L’Alliance: “Foie gras from Landes cooked over low heat and wrapped in a duck consomme and port jelly then served with 20 year old balsamic vinegar and vanilla aroma”.
La Tour d’Argent: “Roast duckling from Vendee served with a heavy sauce made from consomme, duck blood, liver, and Madeira wine“.
Le Bouguignon: “Interesting use of blood and organ meats”.
L’Embellir: “Pig’s feet tonkatsu”.
Maison d’Umemoto Shanghai: “Fried rice with crab innards”.
Miravile: “Japanese beef tongue with foie gras, truffles and pie crust a specialty. Also baked Japanese ox tail, pig’s feet, and foie gras pie served with truffled red wine sauce.”
Monnalisa Marunouchi: “Roast lamb covered with an herb and salt pie dough served with basil-flavored cream.”
Muroi: “Wild mushroom set menu featuring some of the 70 varieties picked”.
O’Hara’s: “Yezo Sika deer terrine and a pie made with truffles, foie gras, and potatoes.”
Okina: “Specialty sobas include soba kneaded with black or white truffles and one with homemade caviar”.
Pierre Gagnaire: “Le Grand Dessert made up of 7 different French desserts”.
Quintessence: “Goat’s milk Bavarian cream with salt and olive oil, three hour roast pork, and meringue ice cream”.
Reikasai: “San Bu Nian – a dessert made of egg yolk, cornflour, sugar and lard in which the dough is kneaded 600 times”.
Ristorante Aso: “Miyazaki and Sedai beef are grilled on charcoal and served with black pepper-flavored mascarpone. Sauteed foie gras topped with zabaione and black truffle sauce”.
Ristorante Honda: “Tagliolini with sea urchin”.
Ristorante La Primula: “ Pasta stuffed with potato puree, cinnamon, mint and raisins topped with Parmesan. Paprika-stewed beef cheeks with polenta, roasted quail stuffed with foie gras”.
Sushi Nakamura: “Seared sea cucmber ovaries good with sake”.
Tateru Yoshina Shiba: “Pork head cuts roasted and served with soft-shelled turtle”.
Uchiyama: “Giant pacific octopus eggs, jellied ray fin broth”.
Yamariki: “This izakaya’s signature nikomi of cow intestines is slow-simmered until tender—the cooks have used the same broth continuously for close to 40 years. Yamariki is known for its yakiton, or grilled bits from pork, including juicy kashira (temples) and chewy teppo (rectum).”
I’m expecting some fabulous dinners! And various Weird Food Purchase of the Day opportunities!
From tasty to tasteless, check out the Time’s Top 10 Tasteless Ads: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1907218_1907236,00.html
From tasteless to terrifying. This Swedish ad was designed to sell personal care products – but instead ended up creeping out many t.v. viewers: http://www.thelocal.se/21116/20090805/
I knew it! Yet another reason dogs are better than kids (http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/08/07/smart.dogs/index.html?iref=mpstoryview). I think I’ll train Jelly to do my taxes.
Mishmee writes: “Are they working on the SG1 movie now?
My brother and I are working our way through the SG1 series again. We are on season 2. I’ve forgotten many of these episodes and I remember falling asleep on the couch watching them. Can’t remember why I was tired back then.
When did you join the show as a writer?”
Answer: The SG-1 movie script is with Brad right now. Paul and I joined the SG-1 writing staff at the beginning of season four.
Shirt ‘n Tie writes: “I know it’s insanely early, but have any of the actors been approached about doing audio commentary for the eps?”
Answer: Way too early.
Major D. Davis writes: “I heard SGU’s budget was up by 1 million bucks from Atlantis’ budget. So is SGU’s budget 3 million US dollars???”
Answer: Sorry, I’m not about to discuss numbers. However, I will say this – many have erroneously assumed that this was in reference to Atlantis’s FINAL season. It wasn’t. The comparison was being made to Atlantis’s FIRST season. Two very different budgets.
dune knight writes: “ hey joe, since the other guys read your scripts roughly at the same time they are writing theirs; so how are all 22 episodes in-sync in terms of the development of story arc and characters. and how do all of you write for the same character without making them sound different in each script especially for a new show like this.”
Answer: The first three scripts – Air I, II, and III – written by Brad and Robert, are the templates for all future scripts. We attempted to follow through on the various elements (ie. Character voices) that the show’s creators established early on. Once the scripts are completed, Brad and Robert always do a pass to ensure they remain true to their original vision. Also, the more we hear the actors in character, the easier it is to capture their voices. As for the story arcs – we beat out the stories as a team, well aware of what has come and what is coming. It’s not as if one of us will go off and come back with a script in which, say, Eli gets married or one of our major characters is killed off. All of the overall arcs and in-story arcs are discussed prior to going to script. In small instances, Brad and Rob may also tweak and adjust later scripts to reflect earlier developments.
duneknight also writes: “you probably answered this one before, how do you get yourself into writing mode”
Answer: Easy. I force myself. If I have the luxury of time, I’ll take it. If, however, I’m facing a deadline, then I sit down in front of my laptop and force myself to get it done.
Ytimyona writes: “Have the puppies been waking you up that early, or did it just kind of happen?”
Answer: As outrageous as it sounds, I’m waking up even earlier than my dogs!
Ascended Tauri writes: “I have a question about script lengths. If I’m not mistaken, the Atlantis scripts would often come in at 60-70 pages, yes? So then, why would you say are the SGU scripts coming is as so much less at around 50 pages? (and with the ‘larger’ font, that would make the difference even greater, would it not?)”
Answer: Atlantis scripts would come in at approximately 60 pages. As for the difference in the SGU scripts – different font, different show.
Paloosa writes: “From what you’ve said, SGU is more character and relationship focused, which means that more script and thus screen time is spent in developing these relationships. Doesn’t that equal less action time and therefore less expense?”
Answer: It’s not as simple as saying more focus on relationships will yield less expensive episodes because something has to happen in these episodes – besides developing relationships. The show is more action-adventure than space opera.
RebeccaH writes: “I’d feel your pain, JM, but I’m currently battling swine flu.”
Answer: Hey, get better.
PG15 writes: “Speaking of which, she hasn’t been around the blog in a while. Is she still employed at Bridge Studios?”
Answer: Oh yeah. It’s really more the case of me no being around the office since I’ve been homing working on these scripts.
Grapesofwraith writes: “And a question about the script-font mix up – if you guys are using Courier now, shouldn’t you have realized it when writing Space a couple months ago?”
Answer: I did realize when writing Space. Then promptly forgot and realized again while writing these two scripts.