Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ogawa, Monzennakacho

In some periods my favorite place to go in Monnaka. The menu is always a single, hand-written page. That’s a little tough for me (in some places, I end up ordering what I can read!), but the writing is basically OK. Some standard and signature dishes show up every time, and these are worth getting. I think the dashimakitamago, which is filled with a nori roll that includes mentaiko and cucumber, is a neat idea and I used to get it all the time. Sansai tempura is always a good bet when it’s there. Various Kyoto-style specialties whose names I don’t know (steamed fish on rice with ankake? Maybe topped with a cherry leaf?) are interesting. Some things are worth skipping, like the salads (yaki buta shouga salad, etc).

Drinks are probably a bit better than expected. I’ve always been a little put off by the way the sake list is a laminated sheet on the wall, but recently visited a ‘sake specialist’ and was surprised at how many of their special sakes I knew – from Ogawa. (On a side note, why is it a requirement for sake to have unreadable kanji names?).

The chef did NOT endear himself to me by loudly asking “where’s your wife?” over and over again when I went with another woman after getting single again. But I’ll still go back from time to time, because he’s creative and brings in great seasonal ingredients, prepares them well, and runs a place with the kind of friendly, well-worn-and-not-very-clean atmosphere that I love in an izakaya.

Ogawa (旬菜料理 緒川;03-3642-7684) Kick it!

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