October 16, 2023

Italian Japanese fun

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We've been talking about this for a pretty long time, and it finally happened today. I'd been wanting to take Juve Fan to experience the joys of eating "Japanese Italian food", accompanied by Goldfinger - who has already come to know the magical combination of these two cuisines. I had originally wanted to try out Trattoria Kagawa by Mihara, but given the tight schedules of my two companions, we defaulted back to Sagrantino - an old favorite of mine that just happens to be across the street from where Goldfinger needs to be.

And then Fergie wanted to join... as he is also familiar with what Sagrantino offers. Now that I no longer work in the 'hood, I must admit I haven't been there in a while!

I made a couple of suggestions to order items which I thought would have flavor profiles that are very Japanese so that we could get the full "fusion" experience. If we're gonna do this, we're gonna do this right!

Avocadonara pasta - this was, surprisingly, the choice of one of the two chefs... or both. As a guy who isn't usually a big fan of avocados, this was actually pretty decent. In fact, as it was the least "Japanese" of the dishes we ordered, it turned out to be Juve Fan's favorite.

Geso pasta - this is one of my go-to dishes here, with crunchy squid tentacles in a soy sauce-based sauce that's a little on the sweet side, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Always so happy with this.

Okonomi pasta - OK, so this really is like an okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), and hey... Hiroshima-style modanyaki (モダン焼き) has noodles in it, anyway! Well... I liked it but this was probably the least favorite of the group, as it was pretty heavy-handed in terms of flavor. There were a ton of katsuobushi (鰹節) flakes, after all...

Gomadare pasta - the shrimps used here are, of course, frozen and a little on the crunchy side, but I do love the sesame sauce (胡麻だれ). It's just so quintessentially Japanese.

Manzo carpaccio - the low price of this dish caught the eye of my cheapskate friend Fergie, but honestly... I didn't want to waste the stomach space or the calorie quota. Damn chewy and not flavorful.

Shirasu pizza - normally the shirasu (しらす) pasta is my other go-to option when I come here, but I decided to try out the pizza version today.

I think this worked pretty well! I loved all the little whitebait on top of the cheese and a little garlic sauce. I would totally do this again in a heartbeat.

I'm really happy I checked this off. It gave me a chance to try more of the restaurant's offerings besides my usual choices, and it was fun watching an Italian's reaction to a Japanese interpretation of his country's cuisine. Let's do this again!

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