Japanese

Otafuku

My favorite hole-in-the-wall takoyaki joint has moved its location to a slightly bigger store that fits more than three customers inside! Its menu expanded as well to include nutella and banana taiyaki. Takoyai is a ball-shaped Japanese snack usually made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special pan. Otafuku fills them with a generous piece of octopus (tako), ginger, and onion. The restaurant decorates the order of six balls with a dark takoyaki sauce and pink bonito (dried squid) flakes, which is used in many Japanese soup broths. Get the set with the octopus balls and Taiyaki is a Japanese...

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Liberating Spices

"It’s true that hot foods can help your body burn more calories. When you eat foods with a kick, the spiciness elevates your body temperature and makes your heart beat faster, both which require energy. But the main reason that those who consume spicy foods are able to stay slimmer than others does not lie solely in the metabolism-boosting effects." When I was around nine years old, my grandfather told me that eating spicy foods would make me warmer in the cold weather. Since I was so skinny, I bravely examined and consumed a simple peppered piece of stir fry. I forced myself to eat what...

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Shiki Brookline

Usually, kaiseki ("leave it to us") is an expensive tasting menu for some cooked and raw Japanese food. The multiple courses comes all at once, as per Asian tradition. However, the kaiseki meals (3 different sizes) are priced fantastically. The service is also decent, while the set up is traditionally neat. The restaurant is actually owned by a Japanese chef. The food itself is very flavorful, though everything is bite sized and beautiful as fitting for a bento box type food. Since the flavors are strong, some green tea is a fantastic way to wrap up the meal. Besides the kaiseki, this restaurant...

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Sake Bar Hagi

Recently, my twin wanted to come here with a bunch of people, and I was supposed to publish this so she can order without me. However, I ended up going with her, so that was easy. This post is going to be reflective of that particular night, since the menu has so many items. Simply put, Sake Bar Hagi is a great location in the Theater District for typical sake bar appetizers and booze. Get a cheap snack here or go all out with the variety of raw and cooked seafood. Note that the entrance is somewhat hidden because this place is in the basement. This is what we ordered (and watch out for cool...

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Ramen Setagaya

The fact that Ippudo is maybe just a block away just screams that you should head to Ramen Setagaya instead: the line here is rarely long, yet their ramen satisfies comfort food cravings. Ramen Setagaya has some cozy seating place decor and is famous for wavy ramen noodles and cha siu. I would also argue that they have a delicious selection of sides and sake bar appetizers. Try some tako/taco wasabi (raw baby octopus in wasabi sauce), buta-don (pork over rice perpetuated by tasty onions), and/or some onigiri (which is available for lunch in a set menu of $3.50 for two and a soda). Recently, they...

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Totto Ramen

Those who have been to Totto Ramen will agree with the following statement: the differentiated menu has not changed much since 2010 but really, this ramen is delicious. Ever-so-satisfying spicy and non-spicy options show the development of Japan's greatest comfort food. Even a meat lover should try the colorful and unique vegetable ramen. Throw in the Avo Tuna appetizer, consistently lightly torched, fresh tuna with garlic, creamy avocado and tangy citrus flavor. Japanese fusion flavor. Heavy eaters who need that little extra to be sated should settle for more ramen than any of the rice side dishes...

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