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If you like Japanese food and you’re in New York City, you’ve got to go to Ippudo. A steadfast regular on NYC’s Talk of the Town on Urbanspoon for several months now, I made sure to check it out this time around. Hopping into a cab, we made it just in time to catch a spot in what became the middle of a long line minutes later. People really love their food here, that’s for sure. Showing up to the restaurant an hour before opening to secure a spot inside? Braving the elements in the name of a good meal? This definitely becomes more admirable as the weather gets colder. Now, that is commitment. In some ways, I’m thankful Montreal hardly has lineups this size – maybe it’s because we’re a smaller city or maybe it’s because people in the city have yet to catch this level of food craze or maybe, dare I say it – no restaurant has yet been able to inspire it.
Aikawa is not what it used to be. Once a shining beacon of light in the West Island sushi scene (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration), Aikawa brought a sort of sophistication to the Japanese cuisine relative to the other places around here. Serving primarily Japanese fusion, the place definitely does not stick to the rules and has no qualms about serving items such as
Mikasa has locations across the city, including Laval, the Rive-Sud, Marche Centrale and downtown Montreal. The latter spot is probably the most well known among Montrealers as it was the scene of a fatal freak accident back in 2009. The restaurant is relatively low key and offers decent sushi for a little above average sushi prices. We headed to the spot by Marche Centrale on Acadie which is a little trickier to find as the entrance is tucked around the back of a compound mini strip mall. We’ve been here a few times before but mostly for the lunch special.
Just as we walked into Imadake, a large group was leaving. Sent off with surprisingly loud yells of “arigotou gozaimashita” – thank you in Japanese – we were immediately made aware that this was a real, as authentic as it gets kind of Japanese pub. All around us, groups of laughing, tipsy diners were egged on to do shots and chug their drinks by waitresses dressed in school-girl type kilts and thigh highs. The atmosphere is loud and convivial, definitely a good spot to check out if you’re in the mood to be around a lot of people, drink some good Japanese beer and eat tapas style typical to the izakaya way.