Japan: Land of the Rising Izakaya


So after having a fiancee in my life, I thought the best way to enjoy it was to head to Japan.  Well maybe not Japan, but a nice restaurant in Chinatown (not Japantown), Daikaya.

Daikaya is a two story restaurant with two types of menus.  Downstairs is the Ramen Shop and upstairs is Izakaya.  It wouldn’t have mattered which one we WANTED to go to since this wasn’t exactly our decision.  For this shop we were eating for free, thanks to my fantastic side job: mystery shopping.

If you don’t know about mystery shopping please do learn.  This has been a great second ‘job’ for me over the past 15 years.  Bridget and I were able to enjoy Japan and get fully reimbursed.

One of my favorite import beers is Japanese, Sapporo, so this was obviously ordered right away.  Daikaya is served “tapas” style, lots of options in small plates.  We ordered a variety of dishes including a few things I’ve never had before. Served first was the fried quail on top of pickled onions. Among the best things we tried was the grilled octopus. I was nervous with the first bite but couldn’t stop eating it after.

Looking at the menu we saw they had fried garlic.  They had me at fried but added garlic to put the cherry on top.  It was delicious and just melts in your mouth.  Then to top off this great meal we got a dish of pork and Brussels sprouts.

Also ordered was a cod roe spaghetti, not something that was my favorite as it was quite fishy.  The fishy taste wasn’t surprising, it’s just that fishy is not my favorite flavor.  This might of been the only dish I didn’t really like but Bridget helped finish it off.

All dishes were enjoyed but were not quite enough to fill us up so we had to add a dessert.

I may of forgotten to mention that this dinner was to celebrate Bridget’s birthday, even if a day early.  The server came out from the back with a bowl with a flaming candle on top.  We were so excited, Bridget blew out the candle and we demolished the dish but forgot to get a picture.  The dessert was a Japanese style chocolate ice cream with crushed banana chips on top.  What a great way to end the night and feel stuffed on Japanese food.



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