Japan: Roppongi and Beyond

After a whirlwind stop in NYC for drinks (La Sirena), a play (“Hold Me, Darling!”), and dinner (Il Buco Alimentari), all with the very estimable N, it was the J to JFK and a direct flight to Narita.  (As the J wound its way above Brooklyn, passing into and out of Marcy BLVD, I felt as if I was in that Dead Presidents song about the subway.)

Joe Bastianich was sharking the floor at La Sirena, and you can’t blame him, it’s only been open a week.  No one I admire more in the business, he’s an extraordinary observer and writer, and I enjoyed speaking with him on Sunday night.

At Il Buco Alimentari, the vibe and food are so wonderful and consistent, thanks to GM LT, and wait…was that Sean Ono Lennon in the room?  An otherwise empty room since it was nearly midnight?  It was.  I saw his mom and dad on the streets so close by so long ago.

415 PM arrival, first out of customs, dashing past all the premium class folks.  A great couple of Russ & Daughters bagels I stowed along with belly lox and Nova?  That helped.  The JR @ 445 and I’m at Tokyo station at 545, and then a taxi to Grand Hyatt Roppongi, and I’m in my room with an hour to spare before a 715 meeting.

K @ 715 and we walk to Hachibei, which is in the same complex here in Roppongi Hills.  Skewers of gizzards, wings, kawa, gingko, shitake, bonjiri, and tsukune, cold beer and a couple of cold sake.

And then the allure and magic of jet lag: Up literally every hour for a few minutes…


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