Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Night out with friends


Oyaji is a very happening izakaya style restaurant in San Francisco. Oyaji is an informal Japanese word meaning "Dad", and is almost exclusively used by men. It also describes a 'rugged' type Japanese male, sometimes emphasizing the humorous aspects, akin to calling someone an 'old fart'.


I was at Oyaji with some Japanese friends, so I knew we'd be having a wonderfully unusual and leisurely meal. While we were waiting for one of our friends, the others insisted I try a Japanese shochu drink that is made with oolang tea and the high-alcohol shochu. It was rather good actually.


We also munched on edamame while waiting.


Next up we had a special treat, tarabagani, and the fourth friend showed up just in time. This dish in English is grilled Alaska King crab. The Japanese said it was special, and because it lives in northern waters, it has a naturally salty taste. I never thought of Alaska King crab as particularly salty, but when I was told about it, it seemed I could then detect it.

Assorted Sashimi

Then a succession of delicious dishes followed, the next being a very fresh assorted sashimi plate.


Next up came some mozuku, or seaweed in vinegar dressing.


My Japanese friends always swoon over the tender butano-kakuni at Oyaji. In English, that's stewed pork belly meat served with Karashi mustard.


The standard goma-ae, is anything but standard here. Fresh spinach, quickly steamed and tossed in a sesame sauce is so good!


This hiryu-zu was one of my personal favorites of the evening. Deep-fried tofu & vegetable dumpling served in tempura sauce is the description.


Do you know what Motsuni is? It's Pork intestine simmered in miso based sauce. And despite that description it was tender and delicious!

Vegetable Tempura

And you can't call this lacy tender vegetable tempura 'standard', it's a cut above most in the city.


And I find shiokara a bit challenging for my taste, but it's quite popular in Japan. Shiokara is marinated raw squid.


And here we have some tasty grilled fish, yakizakana. With so many treats, it doesn't matter if you like some more than others. I liked this one.

Miso Soup

And in Japan, the arrival of the miso soup signals you are near the end of the meal rather than the beginning.

Oshinko pickles

And you know rice isn't far behind when the oshinko pickle plate comes. Oyaji's pickle plate has a good variety.

Yaki onigiri

And we ended the meal with yaki onigiri, or grilled rice in triangular shape.

Previously reviewed:
July 19, 2006


Zoomie said...

Now, that's an interesting meal - the foods mostly seem very Japanese, according to my memory, but none was served in that meticulous Japanese way. For example, I've had the crab before but it was cut apart, carefully slit for easy eating, then reassembled under the shell so it looked like a whole crab until you started to eat it. It was a beautiful presentation, one I have never forgotten.

Anna Haight said...

I've seen that presentation of crab -- it's really lovely. This one was split for ease of eating, but it's basically an environment for eating with your drinking, more casual. The taste was stellar even though the presentation wasn't as good as some I've enjoyed in Japan.

real_greece said...

lovely meal!