Kotaro; A Cozy Izakaya Founded by a Classically Trained Chef

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Kotaro is a cozy izakaya in Shibuya serving food cooked by a classically trained chef.

It’s not often you’ll find an izakaya staffed with an actual trained chef. Don’t get me wrong, izakaya food is absolutely one of my favorite things about Japan. But to up the ante with a chef completely dedicated to his craft really takes the experience to a new level.

That’s Kotaro. A teeny, tiny shop you’d totally pass by without thinking twice about it — but inside is something special. And when you’re adventuring in Japan, this is the type of place that will forge memories than last forever.

Expect to spend about ¥8,000 per person. AMEX card accepted. (Tabelog)

“Kotaro is a modern izakaya run by Chef Kotaro Hayashi and his team. If you are unsure as to what to order, you can sit at the counter and ask for the Chef’s ‘omakase’, which literally means “leaving it up to the chef to choose the dishes.” You’ll have the chance to taste a variety of creative twists on Japanese classic izakaya dishes.” Kotaro, A Must-Try Izakaya in Shibuya, Tokyo!

“There’s no menu, so state your preferences and let patron-chef Kotaro Hayashi choose something for you. The food respects tradition but is not bound by it, and Hayashi’s hipster-like affinity for the handcrafted comes through in every dish.” Kotaro

“The restaurant is popular so you have to book well in advance. You could call from overseas to place your reservation, about a month in advance. I believe the phone lines open up at 1:30 p.m. The staff can take your reservation in English.” Shibuya Kotaro 高太郎

+Map pin to Kotaro

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This blurb is from the October 9th, 2020 issue of TokyoSpark titled "A Cozy Izakaya, a Park With a View, Authentic Swords, and a Beer Museum".