I keep thinking about the amazing meal I had at Guu Isakaya the other day with my dear friend Carmen. The room was absolutely alive with good cheer and energy as handsome Japanese waiters buzzed around with plates of their 'pub tapas', delivering them in the packed room to (and I'm not exaggerating) cries of excitement. The whole staff would chant and actually leap around in joyous celebration whenever someone finally got their table or when someone decided that it was their 'birthday'. We waited an hour in a heated patio crammed with people sipping warm sake and gossiping about what they had eaten on the last visit and complaining good naturedly about how hungry they were. (Apparently some people had waited quite a bit longer - but we had arrived at 10pm, just after the rush). The food was spectacular - well worth the wait - fresh, full of unami and deftly seasoned, and in a steady stream to entertain like delightful rides at a fair. It made me think that I should be visiting Japan asap. I also liked how our 19 year old waiter practically snatched Carmen's glasses to intently examine their high-tech design and materials and begged to learn where to get them.