In Tokyo, Sam took us to a number of different salaryman hangouts; these dishes are from a few different places. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “salaryman” pretty much just refers to a white-collar worker in Japan – the stereotype is that they work long, punishing days, and so when they unwind, they unwind like CRAZY. We saw a number of be-suited guys so drunk that they were staggering uncontrollably on the road, or falling down stairs. And on the night that we ate most of these things, we actually witnessed a bar fight! It never came to blows, but these two salarymen were just screaming at each other, until one chased the other one out, with the bar’s mama-san trotting after them, trying to keep them apart from one another.
Anyway! Japanese potato salad is not far off what Americans call potato salad, and if you’ve ever been to a Thai or Japanese restaurant, you’ve probably had gyoza. The pig’s tongue was good, it tasted just like a hard sausage, and the smoked cheddar was good, if unremakable (except for how much it looked like caramels in the plastic wrappers).
I’m a super big fan of octopus, so of course I adored both the fried and the wasabi-grilled octopods. They were tender, delectable, perfectly salty bar snacks. The oden of course was the standout – I’d never had it before. It’s a warm, brothy winter stew with tons of various delicious things in it. Ours had boiled egg, mushrooms, tofu, fish-cake, daikon, and lots of other stuff in it.
In other news!!! Guys! The Shuteye book is almost here! We’re having a big release party for it this coming Saturday, at Challengers Comics + Conversation. You should come! I’ll be talking about the book a little, and signing them, and if you contributed to the Kickstarter fund you can pick up your rewards there (just make sure to let me know you’re coming, if that’s the case). Also there will be beer and wine, and copious high-fives!