Went to Ninnikuya restaurant (Tokyo's original garlic restaurant, I think) in Ebisu a couple of weeks ago on a Friday night during peak hours, and was shocked to find that we could get a table without a wait. The friends we were with had been there within the past four months and said it was usually crowded, but I was wondering about possible causes.
Was it just a fluke that it was empty? Is Ninnikuya is no longer a popular place? I noticed that the menu was scaled down from previous years (ie. no longer offer five crab dishes, just the Cheng Mai Crab -- their best, IMO) but thought the quality hadn't changed much (still good, garlic toast still ultra-potent). Maybe it's the Japanese recession?
Andy P. & Rachel, any ideas?