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Big Choice, Little Cost at Izakaya Ajijiman

By: Michael March

Date Posted: 1999-05-14

When a restaurant can seat 210 and the number of choices on the menu exceeds the seating, you know the place is going to be big. Izakaya Ajijiman is one such restaurant. Located in Mihama, the recently opened Izakaya Ajijiman is certainly big on seating and even bigger on variety. With more than 200 dishes to choose from, everyoneís palate can be satisfied. Included are perennial favorites such as Chinese, Japanese and Okinawan dishes, along with the less adventurous but equally delicious Western choices. And when you get around to looking at prices, youíll be pleasantly surprised to find that Izakaya Ajijiman is not big on charging exorbitant prices. Far from it. For an example, you canít go past yakitori for •280, a Jumbo Combination Salad for just •500, fried rice at •480, while most of the fried dishes cost between •350 to •400 each. Now thatís a square deal for a square meal. For those who prefer their sushi on the Ďgoí, then a trip to the sushi bar is a must. And what better way to wash down a few delicious sushi than with a cold beer. Now, if you plan on having a beer with dinner, then perhaps a visit during the hours 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. might be a good idea. Why you ask? Well, has any beer ever tasted better than the one you get for half-price? At •200 itís a steal. To compliment the fine food, youíll find the atmosphere of the restaurant spacious and warm, inviting and friendly. Another unique feature of the restaurant is its use of dividers, to give you the feeling of privacy, even intimacy if you so desire. Itís a nice touch. Courteous staff add to a pleasurable dining experience. Free parking is available. Accepts dollars at the daily rate, but change is given in yen. Pay as you plate I remember the first time I sat before plate-loads of individual sushi as they move around a revolving conveyor. It was in Aoyama, Tokyo, and the first thing I noticed - well, I actually noticed the food first - was a big piece of cardboard plastered to the wall, stating that a young college student held the record for eating the most sushi in a sitting. If memory serves well, I think it was about 25 plates of sushi. Quite a feat I thought, and as that was my first time at such an establishment, I wondered how it would be possible to eat so many. I wonder no more. Now, you don't have to be a glutton, but sitting in front of so many delectable dishes in Gurume Kaiten, a new sushi bar in Mihama, itís not too hard to imagine that eating 25 plates of sushi would be so difficult. But this is one restaurant where it is well worth the try. What makes Gurume Kaiten so special is not just its fabulous selection of freshly made sushi, itís the ambiance. Thereís something so intrinsically special about eating there, that itís difficult to describe - without a mouthful of sushi getting in the way of your tongue. But its ultra clean visuals and spotlessly clean interior are the prefect recipe either for an attempt at the Ďrecordí or a quick snack. Prices are a treat in themselves, with each sushi plate (two pieces per plate) ranging from •90 up to •220. Seventy varieties will have your head in a spin keeping up with the colorful selections as they parade in front of you. And I do mean colorful. Each plate is individually colored to indicate its price, which you can find on the wall. And when youíre done eating, and find you probably didnít beat that young college gradís record in Aoyama, you just count the plates to get the total. Gurume Kaiten is an excellent establishment! To get there: Both restaurants are located across from Camp Lester Furniture Mart Gate, a block away from Hwy 58 on the left. Free parking is in front of the restaurant.

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