Naka-Meguro: Mexican
Junkadelic (Naka-Meguro: Mexican)
Open 6pm-2am. Closed Wednesdays.
late: Open late
Sun: Open Sundays

One of Tokyo's early Tex-Mex pioneers, Junkadelic turns out credible versions of the Tex-Mex standards found in southern California, where the owner used to live. The menu starts off with familiar dishes like fajitas (your choice of corn or flour tortillas), burritos, enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, and chimichangas. Digging a bit deeper, you'll also find nice chili rellenos (mild chili peppers stuffed with meat), seafood empanada (reminiscent of a Mexican-style Chinese stir-fry), and arroz con camarones (Mexican rice with fantastic plump shrimps and two different chili sauces).

One of our favorite dishes here is the birria - a hearty lamb stew made with tender meat and lots of vegetables in a rich sauce. It's not on the regular menu but you can often find it on the specials board, which is always worth studying. Another recommendation is the juicy sauteed shrimp in garlic, which is far more onion- and cilantro-oriented than the Spanish version of this dish that's so popular in Tokyo these days.

Pretty much everything we've tried here is good. Our only complaint is that the food just isn't spicy enough - most of the dishes are toned down quite a bit compared the versions you'd find in Southern California. If you like it hot, we'd suggest a side order of jalapenos (Y300) to add to your dishes.

The dining area is anchored by an open kitchen to one side and an equally big bar in back, a hint that the drinks selection is just as important as the food. Of course you'll find margaritas, along with some 20 kinds of tequila by the shot. More surprisingly there are also 20 twenty kinds of premium rum.

The atmosphere at Junkadelic is comfortably bohemian - more funk than junk really, and the kind of place where customers sport knit caps and goatees. There's a small DJ setup and a decent sound system, with music ranging from Latin to country to jam bands. The spacious dining room was cobbled together behind an old storefront on an obscure back street. It's easy to find though - just walk from Naka-Meguro station along the right side of the tracks towards Yutenji for about five or six minutes and you're there. Budget around Y2000-4000 for dinner with drinks. (English menus, English spoken.)

by Scott Cooper
Meguro-ku, Kami-Meguro 4-10-4.
Tokyo Beyond Sushi - the guidebook
Tokyo Beyond Sushi
Explore the hidden side of Tokyo dining
Charcoal-grilled pork on skewers, udon noodles in curry-flavored soup, octopus dumplings, deep-fried beef cutlet -- there's a whole world of exciting food in Tokyo that food-loving visitors often miss out on.

This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.
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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended