Several years ago during a business trip, I learned about a famous dish associated with the city of Sendai — beef tongue, or as the Japanese call it gyutan. A Japanese colleague enthusiastically told my office all about it, knowing how exotic and strange it sounded to Americans. I don’t know what my other colleagues thought, but I was looking forward to checking it out.
One of the fun things about exploring places to eat in Tokyo is that it often takes you to neighborhoods that you would not otherwise visit, especially if you’re a foreigner. After all, great food doesn’t need to be limited to those areas that are well-known or the most popular. That’s certainly the case when I went to a restaurant called Maruchi for tonkatsu (which I wrote about here) and, in an even more recent trip, to an awesome ramen joint called Matador (マタドール) in the Kita-Senju neighborhood. Both are located on the outskirts of Tokyo, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise that many people asked “why would you go all the way out there” when I told them about my plans.