January 30, 2010

A sober izakaya meal

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I've been drinking a fair amount lately.  I was pretty buzzed last night at the Acker auction, and loaded up on alcohol again at lunch today.  I took a much-needed nap, and after waking up for dinner, I thought it would be a good idea to stay away from alcohol...even though I was meeting my friends at a Japanese izakaya (居酒屋).  My friends wanted a casual meal so I took them to Ishiyama (石山).

We ordered a bunch of dishes and split the order into two batches, to kinda pace ourselves and make sure we don't get into too much trouble.

We started with some potato salad, which is pretty Japanese.  Interestingly there was a little bit of black pepper here to give it some kick.

Spinach in sesame seed sauce (ほうれん草の胡麻和え) - pretty standard but nice way to start the meal.

Kikuna in sesame seed sauce (菊菜の胡麻和え) - OK so we duplicated the sesame sauce, but my friend wanted the chrysanthemum stems since they're usually only seen in Japanese restaurants.  The flavors also make it a little more special.

Eggplant stewed in miso sauce (味噌茄子煮) - I liked it last time so I ordered it again. The minced meat gave it a little more texture.

I always thought the stewed beef tendons (牛筋旨煮) here were really good.  Spicy sauce but it's very soft and tender.  I could just come here and pour this over a bowl of rice!

Time for some fish... had some buri (ぶり, yellowtail) and scallop sashimi but skipped the fatty tuna (大トロ) as I'm boycotting bluefin tuna.  For sushi we had the sea urchin (雲丹) and sea eel (穴子).  I still really like the sea eel here as the texture is really soft, and that dollop of yuzu (柚子) and sansho (山椒) on top was especially nice.

Time to order the second round, which started off with some oden (おでん) that I dipped with a little of that strong yellow mustard.

Spring vegetable tempura (春野菜天ぷら) was kinda interesting, as these are not the traditional tempura veggies - Brussels sprouts and broccolini.

The beef and tofu hotpot (牛肉豆腐鍋) was really like sukiyaki, with the same sweet soup and a bunch of glass noodles.  Tofu was pretty silky.

We waited a long time for our bite-sized deep-fried pork cutlet (一口黒豚とんかつ), and apparently it went to the table next door and those guys just took it like it was fine!  Sheesh... Hope the restaurant at least makes them pay for it.  We did get to have it at the end, but it wasn't that good.  The cutlet was too thin and wasn't fatty enough, so the meat was a little dry.  Maybe I should stick to getting the whole cutlet next time.

It was a good and casual meal, and even though I felt funny about it, it was definitely a good idea not to drink tonight...

1 comment:

Jon said...

Ha! If deep fried pork cutlet came to my table I would act like I ordered it too. My favorite.


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