Sharing recent lunches I've had at Okan again, these from the past couple weeks. Always a pleasure visiting with fun tasty weekly changing sides and even revolving daily specials. All delicious, more often with a creative twist and these days as important very affordable. And right when I got to think "What more can I ask?", this seems to have been answered too. :)
By now I'm sure most wouldn't need the lunch ordering drill to be re-explained, but just in case you first start with the $6.50 Basic Set and order additional sides as you like. But for the more initiated do you notice something different?
How about now? ;)
Grated tororo yam is now part of the starter basic set with choice of white hakumai or brown hijiki rice (refills up to a half bowl are free). A truly momentous occasion for all tororo lovers where from experience the request can cost up to $2 alone (such as at Sakura). And this if the peculiar embellishment is offered in the first place.
Oh, tororo gohan how I love thee... The slimy mountain root with clean flavor finish was a perfect complement to the oily rich soy sauce braised Mackerel below (+$3.50).
This was excellent stuff. Sweet and unctuous. And of course I poured some of the concentrated braise liquid also on my rice when nobody was looking. ;) The mix tempura happened to be the special of the day and without risking too much hyperbole was also near perfect. A very light crispy batter expertly executed by the chef with centers all at the correct doneness, bravo.
Ok so I love things fried, but the motherly nature of Okan makes sure I still have a nutritionally balanced meal. The arranged chicken karaage ($3) with a nice green onion and sweeter citrusy dressing was plated on a bed of fresh mizuna leaves.
The very light koromo is crispy and the chicken's inner juicy. The sauce which also seemed spiked with a little finely minced ginger was great and started to make my 'regular' karaage seem almost boring.
I love fried but I also love my cold tofu, here with a very tasty miso sauce (+$2.50)..
The miso a sweeter delicious seasoned with a little ginger, spice and everything nice. Stuff that makes me not immediately negate the possibility of ever becoming a vegetarian. If the day comes pigs may also fly but I'd eat these homemade pickles daily with. :)
I always wanted to start my own Nukazuke pickling culture. Maybe this is the year to start.
Most recent visit the special was a green bell pepper stuffed with mashed kabocha pumpkin which was then deep fried with panko.. Hello!
Was quite tasty and the Piman was also the thin-walled Japanese kind. Maybe you can get those at Nijiya?
Finishing with my personal highlight of the visits. This Gyu-suji Stew really hit the spot.
A full-flavored, full-bodied long simmer of very tender beef cartilage with root vegetables and konnyaku. I enjoyed this a lot.
Lunch is cash only and if you'd like to get a better sense of what's offered during, you can check out my past posts - Part Four, Part Three, another here, and first here. Evening meals are sort of scattered throughout the blog.
Until next time and hope you all have a great weekend and a nice 4th of July!
Wa Dining Okan, 3860 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111