Tokyo Food Page
Tama/
Gaienmae: Izakaya
₯5772-3933
€Data
They may bill them-
selves as a "New
York-style Japanese
restaurant", but
don't be fooled -
Tama is another
creature entirely: a
genuine 21st-century
Tokyo izakaya. The
very original food
and drink menu is as
up-to-date as the
decor, and the atti-
tude is sophisticat-
ed without being
snobbish, friendly
but non-intrusive.

The decor at Tama is
minimalist industri-
al - all burnished
steel counters and
crisp metal blinds,
with a large open
kitchen at one end
and an outdoor ter-
race area at the
other. The food is
custom-designed
izakaya fare based
on the classics.
Recent menu high-
lights included
gingery shrimp and
fish-paste dumplings
(Y780), spicy stewed
beef cheeks (Y780),
and tempura of tara
no me, a seasonal
mountain vegetable
that was simply
perfect. One popular
specialty of the
house is ishiyaki
ojiya (Y980 for
two), a fried rice
and egg dish served
in a heated stone
bowl that sizzles
entertainingly at
your table. Some of
the simplest dishes
are given added life
by smart seasonings
and unexpected
sauces, with ele-
ments of miso, gin-
ger, and sweet and
spicy components.

The mostly French
wine list is simi-
larly unorthodox and
very reasonably
priced, starting at
just Y2700 per bot-
tle. Cocktails range
far beyond izakaya
territory, with
drinks like tequila
tonic and cassis
soda (or "cassis
sodium" on the
charming English
menu).

The off-the-beaten-
track location (mid-
way between Gaienmae
and Aoyama 1-chome)
is another hint that
Tama is aiming at a
word-of-mouth clien-
tele rather than the
typical after-work
crowd. If you like
interesting food,
it's worth looking
for.
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Minato-ku, Kita-
Aoyama 2-3-1, C.I.
Plaza 2F.  Open
11am-2, 5:30pm-mid-
night. Closed
Sundays.
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