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Some of the biggest successes on the Tokyo dining circuit come from the smallest places. One of the most buzzed-about new openings of 2012 wasn't a flashy new restaurant in Hikarie or the Skytree's Solamachi mall, but a small, casual bistro on the backstreets of Meguro. Much like Shibuya's Ahiru Store, Beard has built the kind of word-of-mouth renown that no amount of PR shilling can create. Chef-owner Shin Harakawa – previously seen working the kitchens at Sangenjaya's Uguisu – set out to replicate the kind of French eateries he frequented during his trips to California: customers snuggle up around the open kitchen and nurse glasses of natural wine while he prepares generous salads and hearty entrees from a menu that changes almost every day. On Sunday mornings, Beard serves one of the city's best brunches, with housemade granola and sourdough pancakes, though good luck scoring a seat.


Venue name: Beard
Address: 1-17-22 Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Transport: Meguro Station (Yamanote, Namboku, Mita lines)

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