Morishita: Yakiton
Yamariki (Morishita: Yakiton)
Open 5-10pm. Closed Sundays.

This grilled-pork specialist is best known for their gyumotsu nikomi (beef tripe stew), considered by afficianados to be one of the top three of its kind in Tokyo. Fashioned as a "Western-style" nikomi, it's flavored with red hatcho-miso and red wine, and the chefs have been adding ingredients to the same stew pot for four decades now.

The rich, fatty stew is served in clay pots along with garlic toast, a perfect combination. It makes an excellent starter while you're waiting for your grilled pork, which is also some of the best in town. Like most yakiton shops, pork organ meats are a highlight of the menu, with nearly a dozen to choose from. Our favorites here were the pork tongue and the kashira (cheek meat), grilled over charcoal with just the right amount of charring.

The tsukune (ground pork patties with cartilage) was also good, but probably would have been even better with tare (sauce) rather than just salt. Raw vegetables served with roast miso paste make an excellent side dish, and the picturesque cauliflower, turnips, eggplants and other vegetables are top quality, far better than your typical supermarket produce.

The sake selection is limited to around half a dozen craft sake, plus two daily specials. The assorted platter of smoked meats and fish makes a good match for the sake, and provides a nice variety of smoky flavors. There is also a small wine selection to supplement the usual beer, shochu and cocktails on the drinks menu.

The setting is a rather traditional izakaya in style, with seating on a few different levels; there's also an annex around the corner to handle overflow. Smoking is permitted, but ventilation is generally good. English menus are available upon request or obvious befuddlement. Budget around Y2500-3500 for dinner and drinks.

Koto-ku, Morishita 2-18-8.

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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended