Owner-chef Mr. Sugimoto
Sugimoto is a small izakaya-style bar-cum-restaurant. It is located south of the Iikura-Katamachi crossroad, well distant from busy entertainment districts such as Roppongi, Azabu-Juban and Akasaka. It takes also at least 10 minutes' walk to any subway station. Therefore, the environment of Sugimoto is somewhat quiet, though it faced on to a wide street with intensive car traffic and there is in addition a motor-way high above the street.
Though the restaurant is small, its food, wine and service are all excellent, I assure you. The owner-chef has a long career as a cook in various Japanese restaurants and finally worked as the chef of the main dining of an old prestigious hotel in Yokohama before he opened this izakaya three years ago.
His choice of foodstuffs is super. He says, he is not dependent on markets such as Tsukiji, but has direct contacts with fishers and farmers, who catch or produce them. His dishes look rather traditional, but he adds his special twists to those seemingly old standard menus.
with oyster tofu
As a result there are surprises in every dish. For example, sashimi is not simply raw fish slices. He puts five kinds of fish, which have diversity of taste and texture, and he emphasizes the character of every fish by adding some elements to it. They might be special style of sauce, cutting or preparation of fish meat.
Likewise, he generously adds sea urchin eggs to chawan-mushi. His tofu is filled with rich oyster essence. Pickled lotus roots are garnished to sashimi, instead of usual ginger slices.
Sugimoto-san's partner serves guests.
As he prepares so many wonderful surprises, it is understandable that most guests order "omakase" - leave the choice of foods to the chef. I think it is also better to ask him about sake or shochu (Japanese hard liquor), as he certainly has some surprise for you.
Because you can be satisfied with everything of Sugimoto, it is quite natural that you have to pay slightly more to him than to ordinary izakayas. But, it is not too much. You just have to bring a 10,000-yen banknote (about $100) and you can experience an evening of real "plaisir en bouche".
Though nobody of the restaurant is good at English, there is an internet site and a menu in English. They might help you enjoy the food of Sugimoto.