Osaka

The first time I went to this place, I accidentally went on the night it opened. Like, without even realizing it. It’s gorgeous inside: dark stone walls, carved wooden dividers, huge ceilings and little water fountains… it almost looks like a spa! They even have a separate room for Hibachi (a chef puts on a show and prepares your meal right in front of you… they even pour sake into your mouth!), a full bar, and a dance floor in the basement. I was really taken aback! Still, I was worried it wouldn’t do well based on the lack of attendance on it’s first night in business.

Luckily, about a year or so later, the place is a huge hit and is always crowded. They (boastfully) have a picture displayed of Doc Rivers, the head coach of the Celtics, shaking hands with the owner. But hey, well deserved success, right?

I love this place, I do, but I wish they would stop changing their menu. It’s like… soon as I fall in love with a certain dish… it’s gone! This has happened with their beef tataki (raw beef with a creamy teriyaki sauce and enoki mushrooms), their rock shrimp, and their gyoza. My all time favorite menu item–truffle salmon belly– was TOTALLY BOTCHED last time I was in there. I ordered it to split with a few friends (who had never been to Osaka) after talking forever about how delicious it was. Everyone wanted to try it because I had been going on about it for months. When the salmon finally came, everyone dug in, and them immediately looked at me as though I had run over their dog with my car. It, quite literally, tasted like crap. (Ok maybe not literally. And no I’ve never eaten crap)

In the past, the dish had been a delicious, plump salmon belly with a smooth truffle flavor and a few hot peppers floating around in the sauce. The dish WE were served had limp salmon, SOUR sauce, and nasty pineapple chunks floating in it. AND THERE WASN’T EVEN ANY TRUFFLE OIL IN IT? EWWWWWWW.

It took awhile for the waitress to notice our distress, but she did eventually respond to our death stares.

“Did they change the recipe for the truffle salmon?”

“Y…Yes. They did.”

“WHY.”

She didn’t know why. I didn’t know why. No one could answer my question. WHY would anyone take something so beautiful and delicate and make it taste like sour pineapple garbage? WHY GOD WHY. I mean, truffle oil isn’t THAT expensive. Plus, that’s false advertising.

My friend and I decided to split a sushi roll instead. It was tasty, but nothing would ease my pain.

Despite the enormous, booze filled, flaming scorpion bowl I had all to myself (pictured below) I was extremely hurt. Everyone else had nice meals but I just couldn’t get over the “death” of one of my favorite appetizers.

even the enormous amount of alcohol couldn't distract me from my sadness: the truffle salmon would never be the same

I’m still in mourning, so I’m not quite ready to return. But I’d advise you to go: they have very competitive prices (especially on the bento boxes) and the food really is quite good. They recently added an enormous cocktail menu, also a plus.

Now I’m sad.

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