There was a three-way tug of war between kaiseki, sushi, and beef on this trip, each vying for attention and sampling. There was not enough time to sample the innumerable sushi spots, much less the promises of the various breeds and prefectures of wagyu beef. After weighing some possibilities, O’Shima was earmarked for the main Japanese beef experience. Unfortunately, due to the dearth of wagyu options on other menus, it became the sole beef experience.1
The standard American or Australian wagyu available in most domestic restaurants offers neither the dry-aged beefiness of a well-aged steak nor the tenderness of the mythical Kobe beef from Japan; instead, it is often an overpriced compromise without much reward. If only given those experiences as reference points, my interest would be little. Fortunately, the US and Japan found a compromise in a beef importing impasse and real high-quality Japanese wagyu can now be found in America.
(Above) – A sirloin getting weighed at O’Shima, this portion for two. It is not as marbled as the A10 beef from Urasawa (below.) That is good – it would not (or should not?) be possible to eat a steak of A10 – far too rich.