Friday, August 10, 2007

59. Restaurant Review: Goemon

Goemon is a 'Japanese' pasta restaurant. What does that mean? Well, it means that no matter what type of pasta you order, you have to eat it with chopsticks! And, if you decide to order a set, the soup is a clear Japanese flavored broth, and the salad is shredded daikon (Japanese radish) with lettuce and bacon bits, in a light Japanese dressing. To add to the Japanese flavor, all dishes are traditional pottery and everything is served on a black lacquer 3/4 moon tray.

All of the pastas, however, are not Japanese style (with seaweed, fish eggs,...). Half are Japanese and half are 'Western'. I ordered a fresh tomato and mozzarella cheese with basil in a tomato base, it was very tasty. It was, however, impossible to eat without a little bit of splatter (don't wear white).

I ordered the 'Ladies Set', which allowed for the choice of any pasta, plus soup, salad, and drink (I had iced Oolong tea) for 1350 yen.

The colors in Goemon are deep green, light brown, and a bright orange. It is very clean and clutter-free. There is an 'L' shaped counter facing an open kitchen. The kitchen is very organized and there is lots of stainless steel. There are also about 16 tables for two (that can be converted into larger tables if necessary). All chairs are high-backed, dark green and black. Jazz plays in the background.

Seats at the bar counter are a little warm due to spotlights located overhead. They are also considered part of the smoking area.

The menu is all in Japanese, but there are pictures of every dish and many descriptions are in katakana. Ordering ala carte, most pastas cost about 1000 yen. There is a 'Men's Set' (I think the portion is larger), and a set that includes a dessert. There is also a large display of 'fake' food at the entrance. Although the Italian/Japanese combo seemed a little odd to me, I felt the set was a lot healthier than the equivalent at a purely Italian restaurant. No tempting garlic bread on the menu. So, I guess I would recommend Goemon if you want a 'healthy choice' pasta lunch.

Goemon is located out the south exit of Shimokitazawa, just a little ways down from Starbucks, on the right side of the street, 2nd floor (across from ABC Shoes).