I am NOT a Jirorian. A Jirorian cares not for the stink of garlic that seeps from his pores. A Jirorian can pinpoint the minor differences between the Jiro branch in Nishi-Shinjuku and the Jiro branch in Kabukuicho, a five minute walk away. A Jirorian thinks that bean sprouts count as a healthy topping.
And when a new Jiro-style shop opens, I don't really care.
But when a Jiro-style shop called Buraian opens, I take note. Because that is my name! I'm Brian!
In typical Jiro-style fashion, a single shred of cabbage was the only spec of health in this bowl. In typical fashion, I felt like crap after eating it. In typical fashion, the soup is rich and porky and delicious.
Then I was hit was some of the best news of 2013. I asked the master what 無頼庵 means. 無頼 - burai - means villainy, non-trust. 庵- an - means hermitage. Put them together, and buraian means desperado. A bad-ass dude, living day to day by his own rules.
When I first came to Japan, some Japanese friends wrote my name as 武雷安, a nonsense grouping of Chinese characters for samurai, thunder, and cheap.
I'll take desperado any day.
Tokyo, Setagaya-ku, Kyodo 2-14-13
Closest station: Kyodo
Open 11:30-15:00, 18:00-22:00