Monday, July 27, 2009

Bistro Taruya, Kanda (樽や)

There is beauty all around us, if we only look for it.

Last night, frustrated by Friday's unsuccessful attempt to by big-person shoes, I went to another branch of the same store. Lo, despite being only a quarter the size and located in a distinctly down-at-the-heels location next to an unused section of Ueno Yamanote sen under-track, this branch had a bunch of stuff for me. So I bought some shoes, and then I have to admit that I had some dinner. To celebrate, or something. Yay. Shoes.

Farther south of there, the east side of the tracks in Kanda is pretty impressive (the place where I always go for lunch is farther south; the good bit starts right at the limits of what's walkable for lunch from the office, but I had ridden my bike from the office up to Ueno and back so...). It's just one tiny, crappy-looking shop after another, and that always fills my head with dreams of finding the perfect one and reveling in the freshness and flavor of their cuisine.

Well, I struck out again. Bistro Taruya turned out to be more izakaya than bistro, especially on the bench-seating second floor. Maintain yesterday's all-veg pattern, I just got a few dishes to comprise a simple dinner out.
  • The waitress cautioned me to be careful since the eggplant-tomato gratin was so hot. It wasn't hot, it was made earlier and insufficiently reheated. And it tasted like ketchup.
  • The grilled skate fins (OK, that's not a vegetable, but it's almost hard to call it a fish) were fine. I love the sweet, mildly fishy flavor of a good grilled skate wing; I have a feeling this means there's sugar involved in the process somewhere. The best way to have these is with a little burner at the table so you can reheat and soften them yourself, but that's comparitively rare.
  • The fried zucchini - long pieces of a whole zucchini cut in eighths, lightly coated in Japanese panko breadcrumbs, fried golden brown so the inside was still firm but softened to perfection at the table from residual heat - the fried zucchini were perfect.

Truly, there are beautiful zucchini all around us, if we only look for them.

This blog has some good illustrative pictures.

1 comment:

  1. We were watching skates swim around the dock in Bethany. I said I bet they eat these somewhere, and not a week later, there they are, skate fins, in your blog. They are awesome animals who sort of flap their fins to swim.