Located in the thriving izakaya-filled back alleys southeast of Yoyogi Station, Haretoke offers a fantastic sake list and a menu heavily focused on meat, and horsemeat in particular. You can choose from more than a dozen cuts of horse, or go for a pre-selected five- or three-part assortment of horse sashimi. They also serve a horse sushi platter, horse carpaccio and deep-fried horse karaage.
For a more balanced diet you can choose from grilled beef tongue and beef rump steak, grilled chicken and pork, and a sausage of the day. The mixed-grill platter (Y2800) is a hefty half-kilogram of assorted meats (beef, chicken and pork) and a good introduction to the non-equine portion of the menu. Organic-vegetable bagna cauda and anchovy-flavored french fries provide a refreshing break from all the animal flesh.
The restaurant's sake list is compact but well curated, with over a dozen craft brews from around the country divided into premium and extra-premium categories. Servings are 3, 5, and 7 shaku in size (around 55, 90 and 125 ml in metric), and they start from just Y390 for a small glass. At these prices it's tempting to try out new and unfamiliar labels, and perhaps find some new favorites.
Service is friendly, the atmosphere is casual, and the R&B-heavy background music is invigorating. There's comfortable counter seating if you're dining solo.
Unfortunately smoking is allowed, which is surprising for a relatively new shop specializing in sake, so you may want to choose your timing or your location carefully if you don't smoke. Budget around Y4000-4500 for a nice, rather meaty dinner washed down with some first-rate sake.
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.