Sunday, December 09, 2007

Return to the Nami-nami

The Nami-nami is a restaurant at Castro in Mountain View, which I visited back in April. Its main attraction is the authenticity (it overflows with Japanese), followed by exotic "kappo" style of food (tonkatsu is not on the menu). The reviews at Yelp are punctuated by a string of dissenters who are unhappy with service and kappo. Some of it is pretty stupid, for example the complaint about several waiters serving the table. I heard that at least some Americans expect "personal" touch, so perhaps that's where this comes from. We had no complaints about the service.

As I mentioned before, Japanese are about half of the patrons, so I enjoyed myself eavesdropping. They get deeper bows and receive polls for tea more frequently, but it's not something overt and we weren't left hanging, so no problem. The check was processed promptly, which always pleases me.

Food selection is a bit of a challenge for anyone who is used to the regular run of the mill sushi+katsu kind of place. I settled for udon nabeyaki with duck, as the safest choice. My other half went for a salmon roll in cheese sauce. If you have trouble, opt for sushi. They are quite good, fresh, the Iroha level of preparation.

The "safest" choice above meant getting what is expected, but yes I did splash my udon a little bit while loading it. I did not realize that one end of a strand was stuck to the pan, and engaged into a power struggle with it. That's what I get for being too full of myself. I was entirely too happy with my ability to control the wiggling of udon when eating it and forgot about this vital detail. Boiling onto the surface of a nabe is something that never happens with cup udon. Fun times.

Anyway, a recommended experience, at least once or twice.


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