カワラ カフェアンドダイニング/ Kawara Cafe and Dining

A friend took me to the Ebisu branch a couple years ago for lunch, where I had a delicious tuna and avocado donburi.  I forgot the name of the restaurant, and was looking for it on and off for a year or so, and only realized after arriving at the Shinjuku branch at night for dinner that it was what I had been looking for.  Both are fancy but affordable places places overlooking busy streets in their respective neighborhoods, and since then I’ve also been to the Minato Mirai branch as well, which seems to be the highest rated on Tabelog.  Very comfy seating, a nice view at the Shinjuku branch, bright and open during the day, dimly lit and romantic at night (check the website for more pictures).  The food is nothing to die for, and besides the donburi that made me want to go again nothing in particular stands out.  I think you pay just as much for the atmosphere as for the food, but it is nice, they have a little of everything and it’s all decent, from drinks to steaks to salads to soba to waffles to pastas to spring rolls to cheese.  I think they also have course menus and do birthdays and such.  I recommend it if you’d like somewhere nice to go, and at least for the branches I went to I’d definitely recommend a reservation for dinner.

1
Jacob
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お洒落なカフェチェーン店。
カワラというだけありお刺身等使った日本的な料理もあります。
わりと美味しいし雰囲気も良いし色んな場所にあるのでレストラン何処へ行こう〜困ったな..という時に使えるお店です。
2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  11:45-24:00 (food LO 22:30)
Location:  Shinjuku (map), others
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メキシカンダイニング アボカド/ Mexican Dining Avocado

Now one of my go-to ideas for a nice night out, when I first heard about this place I just had to go.  An avocado specialty shop?!  Avocado has been pretty popular the past couple years, especially in burger shops.  But this is Mexican (Japanese style of course), with salads, tacos, quesadillas, cactus ice-cream, etc.  There are three floors, one for wine tasting I think?  One is the main restaurant and the basement floor is a bar with more limited food options.  It can get busy enough to not get a seat without a reservation-  the first time I went I got a counter seat at the restaurant (not ideal but not bad at all), the second time I got a counter seat at the bar since the main floor was full.  You order several small dishes, and there are plenty of drinks, including cocktails.  Not everything has avocado but there is a section for it on the menu.  It can get expensive if you’re really hungry, but if you don’t need to eat too much or even just want a drink and a nice place, go for it.  Not sure about English availability.

1
Jacob
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ワンドリンク制で一人必ずドリンク一杯頼まなきゃいけないです。
料理も飲み物も美味しいけれど値段が高かったような。。。
2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00, Sat 11:30-23:00, Sun 11:30-22:00
Location:  Shinjuku (map), others

串カツでんがな/Kushikatsu Dengana

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There are a couple places to eat Kushikatsu in the area, but this place is my favorite. Kushikatsu is one of those foods that is hard to compare to other places unless you eat a lot of it, so I can’t say that the food is particularly amazing, but definitely on par.  There are two floors- the first floor has a few tables and a long counter; a small, warm, bar-like place, lively for the small number of people there.  It can be a bit smoky downstairs, but with doors open on two sides in warmer weather it’s not bad, and there’s a second floor which is all table seating and accommodates larger groups.  But if you’re on your own a party of two the counter is fun. They have a typically extensive menu, with both sets and a la carte items, and plenty to drink as well.  I was recommended the Ginger Highball by one of my friends and have gotten it every time since.  This has nothing to do with this particular restaurant, but I love playing rock-paper-scissors to determine who gets to eat which one in the 10-item sets. Try it sometime : P
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Jacob
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串カツの居酒屋さん。一本から注文できるのでそんなにお腹空いてなーい!という時は自分で調整できてお勧め!
味も本場大阪で食べた味と変わらないと思う!そしてここでもソースの二度付け禁止^^
untitled2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  11:30-11:30 (weekends 12pm-11:30)
Location:  Yokosuka-chuo (map)