Squeezed into a bustling bar complex in front of Kawasaki Station, Rodeo House specializes in horsemeat, both raw and cooked. Although the setting is far from fancy, the quality of the food is surprisingly high, and prices are remarkably cheap.
The compact menu offers multiple cuts of horse sashimi, served with freshly grated mounds of garlic and ginger. Also in the raw section of the menu is an excellent version of horsemeat yukke - a Korean-style dish of tender raw meat served with raw egg, scallions, sesame oil and sheets of dried nori seaweed. The yukke is served on its own or with avocado.
Cooked dishes include deep-fried horsemeat karaage and cutlets, sausages, several different cuts of steak, and stewed tendon meat. There's also a pretty decent cheese platter decked out with three or four cheeses that are paired with horsemeat pastrami and other equine charcuterie. Side dishes like fried potatoes and anchovy-infused braised cabbage are simple but well executed.
The drinks list is limited to draft beer, standard cocktails and budget wines, priced from Y1800 a bottle or Y500 a glass.
The yokocho setting promises a lively backdrop for a night out, but it also means that the dining area can get quite loud and intermittently smoky. Seats at the small counter are more insulated from the smoke, and might be the best bet for non-smokers at peak times.
The upside to the rough and ready location is the low price - ample food along with a drink or two might run Y2,000-2,500. Alternatively you can stop in for one drink and a few snacks and then move on to the adjacent Spanish bar or any of the other informal drinking spots that share the space.