Aburiya Kinnosuke : A New Fantastic Point of View
After days on the open sea, Frank moored his enormous galleon on East 45th street, dropped the sails, collapsed his telescope, and leaped off the poopdeck to bravely explore Japanese spot Aburiya Kinnosuke.
"Go up the West side and cross at 42nd."
"Are you nuts? At rush hour?"
Maybe the Count was just itching to push the boundaries of his restaurant experience; then again, maybe it was simply the allure of getting to wear ass-high leather explorer boots.
2 parts “arrrrr” to 1 part “meow.”
But no matter the inspiration, Frank warns us that, in the words of Peabo Bryson, it's "A Whole New World":
“At Aburiya Kinnosuke, a new restaurant in Midtown, you probably won't spot any celebrities, the way you might at a more lavish, trendy Japanese pleasure palace like Megu or Nobu.”
You see, like a sebaceous teenager fluent in online porn but decades away from touching his first boobie, Frank has mostly experienced the far east in fusions and fanciness, but dammit, he wants the real thing. Basically, it’s hard to feel like you’re really in Kyoto when you’re eating miso-glazed Cheez-its off Robert Downey Jr’s lap.
“You definitely won't find elaborately constructed, kaleidoscopic sushi rolls, the kind that look more like kites than supper, or whimsically shaped stemware filled with neon-colored potions, the kind that look more like chemistry experiments than drinks.”
What? What the shit kind of Japanese places has Frank been dining at? That description sounds less like Megu and more like Willy Wonka's Shagadelic Thrift Store from Hell.
Hi, welcome to Sushi World, allow me to rape your cornea!
More from Frank's travel diary:
“Here's what you will see…: tables filled with Japanese businessmen, neckties still on, briefcases nearby, speaking Japanese to servers who fared much better in that language than in English.”
I wonder if the Count actually hid behind potted plants and spied them with binoculars.
Frank slyly observes the restuarant's clientele. Meanwhile, Japanese business men are confused as to why Swamp Thing is stalking them.
“I had a sense of seemingly boundless possibility, of new flavors that it would take quite some time to exhaust. I had a sense of discovery.”
At this point, you ask, did he make friends with a cartoon raccoon and a native Scores stripper who pretends not to speak English while singing elaborate songs about the Color of the Wind??
“ME NO SPEE NO EEENLESH!! Just kidding. Meet me in the champagne room inside that giant Sequoia in 5 minutes, the raccoon and the pug stay outside.”
Not quite. But he certainly makes a point of experiencing some new foods, with mixed results:
“The menu is so expansive and arcane that a diner can encounter bad luck as easily as good and wind up with food that disappoints, if only because it's so peculiar…”
It's unfortunate that Frank didn't have the language skills to translate "Man-Size Horny Carp" on the entrees list. It's a Japanese specialty!
“One night I blithely ventured in the direction of dried baby squid, only to make a hasty retreat after one repellently fishy, intensely funky bite.”
Oh really? Why do I have a feeling that anyone, even a lobotomized Cosmo girl shellacked head to toe in lip gloss and wearing a thong made of copper wire, could get the following question right:
Dried baby squid tastes like...
b) Dryer sheets
d) The sweat off a sailor’s scabby crack after he wrestles a walrus in the pit of a sulphite mine.
D!! Obvie, that crap stinks.
Worst. Neighbor. Ever.
The Count continues to hack his way through the culinary virgin forest, encountering “salmon neck, another fatty, slightly gamy, challenging and rewarding cut.” You'd think Frank had had enough with challenging and rewarding fish after the ol' Horny Carp, but the Count really is eager to learn:
“I hadn't tried black sesame tofu before Aburiya, but I hope to have it again…” Ah, just like the settlers of the new world who put yams, corn, and Coke Zero to their lips for the first time and yearned for more…
“But for a diner in the right frame of mind, the oddities of Aburiya just seem like part of the adventure…It's a pleasant escape that always made me feel as if I were traveling far away from the rest of the city.”
Well, Frank has left one twinkling star above Aburiya, so even if Frank never finds his way back...
...maybe others will...