The quintessential izakaya (Japanese tapas bar) in the heart of Tokyo’s shitamachi (old downtown) area is a third-generation, six-decades-old restaurant. The signature dish is the nikomi (slow-cooked stew) of pig innards simmered until tender and served with garlic toast. Do not miss out on the yakiton, similar to yakitori (marinated beef, chicken, or seafood on skewers), but made with pork. Yamariki is a destination for both sake and wine lovers. Ask for Mizukami-san, the sommelier, to pair some wine with your menu. A few blocks from the main restaurant (which is undergoing renovations until 2010) is the annex, Yamariki Shinkan, at Koto-ku, Morishita 2-24-3.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.