Friday, March 13, 2009

Yakko Japanese Restaurant

On a recent Thursday, happy hour was canceled so Andy, JB, and myself went downtown to have dinner together. The last time we went to the library (which I need to write about, it's rather amazing), we saw a sushi place that we wanted to try, and that was the night!

We got there about 7pm, and were immediately seated at a booth - the type that's designed to look like Japanese seating, so you sat on a cushion on wood, with your feet (shoes removed) hanging down into a space. The menu was large, and some of the sushi rolls had amusing names ("screaming orgasm" was tuna over daikon, "new girlfriend" was like a rainbow roll, etc.).

We ordered a simple tekka roll for the table (plain tuna), and it was about as expected, pretty plain. We all ordered combination dinners, which included miso soup, salad, and ice cream. I chose the tuna sashimi and chicken sukiyaki. Andy picked tuna sashimi and beef teriyaki. Jonathan ordered a different type of combo, and his came with shrimp and vegetable tempura, a california roll, tuna sashimi (smaller portion than Andy or I had), and beef teriyaki.

The salad was pretty blase, mostly lettuce, and the dressing wasn't very gingery. The miso was also average, but it was strange in that all of the tofu sank and sat at the bottom of the bowl. The tuna sashimi was great - very fresh and just excellent all around. This was my first sukiyaki experience, and I don't care for the food. It's a soup with a lot of vegetables in it, and tofu and chicken. The broth is a bit sweet, and the chicken was like the kind a mother or grandmother would put in soup (aka real and not perfectly square). There's also rice noodles in it, but they weren't enough to act as a saving grace. The vegetable tempura Jonathan had was interesting - it included carrots, broccoli, peas, and some triangular vegetable. The beef teriyaki wasn't worth noting. On the ice cream front, the guys had green tea (which tasted just like the real thing) and I had chocolate (yum).

The bill ran $70 with tax and tip for the three of us. A bit much, considering the quality. But, service was good, and the atmosphere was nice, so it was worth trying. I doubt I'll return, particularly because I prefer a Japanese menu to have a larger sashimi/nigiri section.

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