I'm very, very particular about how my steak is cooked, so I like restaurants that let me cook my own. Pair that restaurant style with high quality Matsuzaka Japanese beef, and you've got a combination that's hard to beat. Matsuzaka is just such a restaurant. Words like cool and chic can be used to describe Matsuzaka but on the whole, it's simple and understated. In the middle of the table, there's a grill. You order the cut of your choice, which arrives uncooked. Simply lay a couple of pieces on the grill, and remove them when they've cooked to your specifications. The point of this meal is to savor the beef, so the side items are fairly plain. There's a bowl of clear soup, rice, a few pickles and a light salad. It goes without saying that the beef is really, really good. Be careful which meal you order, though. My friend was disappointed with the size of his meal.
Matzuzaka is located under an architecture firm on an Akasakan side street, 5 minutes from Akasaka-Mitsuke station. It's tastefully decorated in staid tones and bamboo trees. Every table has a grill in the center - this restaurant serves yakiniku, yakiniku, and yakiniku. Yakiniku is of course originally Korean, but Matzuzaka is thoroughly Japanified - it doesn't bother to include include Korean script in the menu or anything.
The menu is quite substantial; the prices wide ranging. There's lots of beef vocabulary here. Fortunately, Matzuzaka has an English menu to help you decipher all the various cuts, but it's still a challenge. It's all from the same animal though; be comforted. I ordered the "karubi" lunch, which consisted of a small plate of two kinds of beef, unlimited bowls of rice, and green tea ice cream. The karubi was quite good overall, although the thinly sliced, fattier variety was incredible. I didn't need any sauce whatsoever. Unfortunately, the portions were really small, which is why I am giving Matzuzaka a "3" and not a "4." I just filled up on white rice.
On average, lunches range from 1,000yen to 1,500 yen, although the nicest set meal is 5,000. I'm sure its more expensive at dinner time too. I would recommend either ordering a larger expensive lunch or ordering one that comes with a substantial side dish; bibimbap for example.
In the shadow of the large TBS is a beautiful yakiniku restaurant called Matsuzaka. This is a more upscale restaurant but at lunch it is quite cheap. The inside is quite nice and the service is excellent. They had an English menu on request, but no one spoke English. The atmosphere is best suited for friends to go out and have a drink while they cook their food. I ordered BBQ shabu-shabu (1,500 yen) and it was already cooked when I got it. It was simply delectable. The meat was tender and the sauce was slightly sweet. The two put together made a great combination. While I ate mine, my friend cooked his meat and we had a good time. I really liked this restaurant, mainly because my food was so good, but also because I enjoyed the atmosphere and aesthetics of the place. It is cheaper at lunch but still worth it to come here for dinner as well.