Restaurants in Tokyo
Said to be the inspiration for the Japanese restaurant scene in Quentin Tarintino's Kill Bill Voume 1, Gonpachi is a warehouse-sized, multi-level traditional restaurant which attracts both tourists and celebrity diners such as Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga, and President Bush.
A modern, dimly-lit space with seating at a wooden counter or at tables with views over Tokyo (lncluding an impressive angle on Tokyo Tower), this robatayaki (charcoal grill) restaurant cultivates an upbeat atmosphere with drum-based Japanese festival music playing in the background.
The nine-floor ride in a claustrophobic, battered elevator is well worth it: The doors open to Kondo, a Zen-calm dining room of muted tans and blond cedar presided over by fry master Fumio Kondo, revered for his secret-recipe batter.
The locale has an entire wall of color-coordinated mini sake containers behind its handsome circular bar. Try to order their junmai and daiginjo with bites of pork-cheek yakitori, sautéed sea urchin and watercress, and fugu (blowfish) roe preserved in sake lees.
Billed as "Tokyo-style French cuisine," Sens et Saveurs is the Tokyo outpost of identical twins Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, whose Montpelier Les Jardin des Sens has earned three Michelin stars.