Yotsuya: Japanese
Shinobu (Yotsuya: Japanese)
Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.

We've tried our share of beef tongue - a culinary specialty of the Sendai area - and this unprentious Yotsuya izakaya serves some of the best that we've ever had. It's not exactly a secret though - there's almost always a line outside, so call ahead to reserve your spot.

Shinobu's braised tongue (yude-tan) in particular is the pride of the kitchen and the shop's best seller - incredibly tender and richly flavored, and perfectly complemented by a small dab of wasabi. The very tender charcoal-grilled tongue is another standout - served with excellent pickled hakusai, it somehow packs in more flavor per bite than the grilled tongue we've tried at other shops.

Tongue stew and a few more tongue variations round out the small menu, along with some nice vegetable dishes like stewed daikon and broccoli ohitashi. Sake is limited to one cold and one hot variety, so beer might be a better choice. The atmosphere is lively and service is friendly, although seating, especially in the non-smoking counter area, is rather rudimentary. Budget around Y5000-6000 for a full meal with drinks.

Shinjuku-ku, Saneicho 16.
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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended