Now that I am a paid tabelog subcriber, I have become addicted to the advanced search and sort (!!!) functions. I have spent hours sorting restaurants by ratings along my 4 week path through Tokyo, Izuhanto, and Kansai.
I already have reservations at 2 obvious places in Tokyo, but other than that it looks like this is taking me to some places I otherwise would have never found (for tempura, yakitori, soba, ramen, ...).
Has anybody else taken this approach and did it work out?