Shizuku, Portland’s Significant Japanese Restaurant

Four years ago, I lunched at Chef Naoko Bento Café, a Japanese restaurant on the edge of Portland's downtown district. The storefront was unremarkable like the surroundings. Interstate 405 was practically its western border. On my visit, a semi-truck parked just outside blocked sunlight from lighting the interior. The atmosphere inside was a lot more pleasant,... Continue Reading →

Marukame Udon (Honolulu, HI)

The concept of customizing udon to suit your personal preference is not new. In my neck of the woods, U:Don in Seattle’s University District has been offering it for several years. Marukame Udon made a big splash in Waikiki when it opened in 2011, a udonya that copies the cafeteria-style service that made it so... Continue Reading →

Bento Box at I Love Sushi (Bellevue, WA)

On the Eastside, I Love Sushi is one place to get good sushi. While the chefs may not bask in the fame of the big names in Seattle, they quietly go about their business of making praiseworthy sushi which reflects extensive training in Japan, a rarity in this age of cookie-cutter sushiya. There are two locations, one on Lake Union in... Continue Reading →

Back to Jimbo (Honolulu, HI)

One of the under-appreciated Japanese restaurants in Honolulu has to be Jimbo, which specializes in udon. The buses and people lining up in Waikiki suggests that Japanese tour companies favor Marukame Udon, which features make-your-own udon, a concept that has been picked up by U:Don in Seattle's University District. Jimbo is located in a part... Continue Reading →

Lunch at U:Don (Seattle, WA)

When foodies talk about Japanese soup noodles, they usually think of ramen, arguably the most popular kind found all over Japan. Not as well known outside Japan is a different type of soup noodle, also of Chinese origin, that is widely popular, called udon. The wheat noodle is thick-cut and the very best freshly-made versions have... Continue Reading →

Jimbo (Honolulu, HI)

Honolulu has several excellent Japanese noodle shops. Ramen and saimin garner the lion’s share of devotion. But udon deserves as much attention, especially those served at Jimbo. Made in the Hokkaido style (according to the waiter), the broth is rich, luscious, slightly smoky from specially imported katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). We were told that one... Continue Reading →

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