Located halfway between the Nakameguro and Ikejiri Ohashi train stations, finding Golden Brown was a lesson in Tokyo geography for me. While it’s not too far from either station, it still feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere.
So after a 15 minute walk from Nakameguro, I finally found the weathered storefront for Golden Brown – which looked so perfectly weathered that I’m guessing it was done by a Japanese craftsmen about 3 months ago.
Inside is a very American feeling burger shop. Squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard, a diner style water glass and the full bar that an American burger shop might’ve had before liquor licenses became unobtainable. The only non-American thing on the table is the wonderful plastic sealed hand wipe. Ah yes, we can learn a lot from the Japanese.
This is a simple burger shop serving very unpretentious fare. In that spirit, I ordered a simple cheeseburger and some unpretentious fries. The fries are decent and so is the burger. Like many Japanese burgers, though, the texture is a bit too soft and is missing the crumbly goodness of a burger from Paul’s in the East Village (sigh). The flavor of the patty and condiments are pretty good, it’s just the texture that brings it down.
Imperfect texture in relatively perfectly assembled burgers is a running theme in Tokyo. My guess is that the Japanese are so concerned with forming the perfect patty that they overhandle the burgers, thus changing the texture. A slightly less “perfect” patty would probably yield a better textured burger.
If I lived in this area, I’m sure I would frequent Golden Brown. But as it’s not terribly convenient for me, it’s not good enough to take me this far out of my way. I believe there is another location of Golden Brown nestled somewhere within the Omotesando Hills complex, so maybe I’ll try that one some day to compare.
Ambience 8/10, Burger 6.5/10, Fries 7/10