Kagurazaka: Okonomiyaki
Kurumi (Kagurazaka: Okonomiyaki)
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Tuesdays.
Sun: Open Sundays

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is the specialty at this friendly neighborhood spot, along with a good assortment of vegetables from the teppanyaki grill. Choose from seven or eight okonomiyaki variations, all made with a base of pork, eggs, cabbage and other vegetables, plus your choice of ramen (aka "soba") or udon noodles. (In case you're extra-hungry, we were told that the ramen noodles create a more voluminous final product.)

The seafood version (Y1300) incorporates shrimp, squid and scallops, all of them very tasty. Other choices are tomato-cheese, togarashi (hot peppers), and a noodle-less version that leaves out the soba or udon. There are also more than a dozen optional extra "toppings" to choose from, including kimchee, natto, cheese and extra pork. If you want to make a night of it you can add on grilled side dishes like eringi mushrooms with bacon, or grilled chicken neck with asparagus and black pepper.

Most seating is at a big counter wrapping around the grill area, so your okonomiyaki can be enjoyed from the hot grill directly in front of you. Adding to the down-home feel, there's usually a fresh vegetable and fruit stand set up in front of the shop. Budget around Y1000 for okonomiyaki, or Y2000-2500 for a bigger dinner with drinks. Note that the lunchtime menu is a bit more limited than at dinnertime, but also a couple hundred yen cheaper.

Shinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 5-30.
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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended