This is a funky little Japanese restaurant that makes you wish every
neighborhood had one. There are the usual low tables, but also a
comfortable bar with a rack of personally labelled scotch bottles. The
owner is from the northern part of Japan, so the place is decorated
with lovely wooden traditional Japanese snow gear, including special
snow shoes for cows.
There were no cows present. The restaurant specializes in sea food. The
menu was in Japanese, with some transliteration into roman-ji, so we
could make some educated guesses. For example, we know that "toro" is
high quality tuna, not a particularly delectable brand of riding lawn
mower. We asked our waitress for advice. We like just about everything,
so that is what we got.
We started off with shaved daikon and miso soup while the chef warmed
up in the kitchen. Then came the clams with garlic butter. Not exactly
classical Japanese food, but sweet and tender. We went on to the
eggplant with enoki mushrooms, the octopus with spicy mustard and
oysters on the half shell with ponzu seaweed. We ate the deep fried
flounder, bones and all.
Then came the gyoza, succulent little ones. As noted earlier, this
isn't exactly classical Japanese cooking. We did have some more
traditional dishes, including toro and maguro sashimi, fresh and
delicious, some little white fish we never could quite identify, served
with salmon roe sushi, and soba noodles with a bowl of dipping sauce.
All through our meal, people came and went. Some just wanted a drink,
of scotch, or a beer. Others had a few dishes. We'll warn you, a number
of them smoked. They all spoke Japanese and seemed to be in a pretty
good mood. As each new dish arrived, we were too.