My first lazy Sunday in Japan got a start at Go! Go! Curry! in Shinjuku. Curry is a really popular dish in Japan, but it isn't like Indian or Asian Curry. The sauce is pretty thick and is not very spicy. It's eaten over rice and normally has some sort of breaded meat on top. The first time I had Japanese Curry (or kare in Japanese), I fell in love.
Go! Go! Curry! is a chain with 8 locations in Tokyo and 1 in New York. The proprietor is a huge Hideki Matsui fan and that is the theme of his shops. (Here is a picture of "Godzilla" holding up sketch of his new bride. Huh?) Go Go means "55" in Japanese which is also Matsui's number. For entertainment, they play 3 things: a Go Go Curry documentary, rap songs about Hideki Matsui and 1 classical tune. I'm not sure if they still do this, but when Matsui played for the Yomiuri Giants, patrons would receive a 55 yen discount on their meal when he hit a homerun.
All kitsch aside, the curry is really delicious. I had an economy side (the sizes are airplane themed, economy, business class and first class) pork tonkatsu curry. It comes with a side of cabbage and pickled daikon which make for a nice contrast to all that spice!
For those of you in New York, you can give Go Go Curry a try. It truly is an authentic Japanese meal.
* I have to add that I myself have paid homage to a professional baseball player that shares the same number as Matsui, so Go! Go! Curry is pretty special to me. I typically add the number 55 to my email addresses because my name is so popular that it's impossible to have an email address w/out a number. Ramon Hernandez used to be the catcher of the Oakland A's (back when they mattered). I think I liked him because he was really pudgy and felt like no one else liked him so I owed it to the guy to be his fan. Other than being a chubster, he's best known for his awesome walk off bunt against the Red Sox in the 2003 ALDS with bases loaded, 2 outs and 2 strikes. In my opinion, he deserves a chain of curry shops too.