you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fancy Glass RR- goes okinawan

Fancy Glass RR Restaurant Review for ICHARIBO-

The other night, looking for something new, My husband and I decided to try a cute Okinawan specialty restaurant in the neighborhood. We went on the early side, since it was sat. and I was tired and hungry after working a brunch service in my restaurant. We have been meaning to go there because for a bout a year they had a sign outside proudly declaring "We have English Menu!"

As luck would have it, they DID have an English menu, before they wrote this new menu, which they have not translated. But no worries, we could read most of the hiragana and katakana and there were lots of pictures in the menu. We sat on the first floor at a long bar-like counter. Actually we realized quickly that this place is also famous for Okinawan Alcohol and the bar layout is because it is probably a bit more like a bar than a table service restaurant. I have not checked out the second floor yet, maybe it is a more restaurant feeling up there.

The Place was beautiful. A little dark in the d├ęcor but very city-esque. There were lots of red ceramic dragons, typical of design from Okinawa and across asia.
The dishes were all served on gorgeous pottery. And the service was friendly. At least the first girl. Later in our meal, a rather snooty bartender came on duty and he did not add anything to the experience.

We started with a paper-thin, pastry-like- crepe sort of quesadilla thing… Quite thin, pretty and would have been good, except that it was laden with eggplant. The funny thing about eggplant is that I like it pickled which is one way it is served in Japan, but I don’t really like any other way…. Cooked, baked, broiled, grilled all not to my liking. This was alright though. Of course I wouldn’t order it again but Chris enjoyed it, so that was nice for him.

We next had a Karage Chicken dish, which is kind of a marinated and fried chicken. It was served with leafy lettuce and fresh tomatoes. Very tasty.
We had a fantastic Sushi roll. With cucumber, okinawan fish, avocado… an inside out roll with tobiko (roe) on the outside. This was one of my favorite parts of the meal.

We were drinking some terrific icy cold sake, and I had a spicy dry gingerale as well.

We also enjoyed a wonderful rice/soup dish--- which I forgot to photograph. And Finally ended up with the highlight of the night. Tempura Banana with cinnamon and ice cream. It was delicious.

The only downside of the evening is that the restaurant was very bar like, and as we were sitting at the counter, and this is Japan where all bars are still very much smoking environments… we were subjected to WAY TOO MUCH smoke. It is what finally drove us away. I would have loved to stay and try some of the other drinks from Okinawa, but the smoke was really burning my eyes…

FANCY GLASS RR on a scale of 1-5 (one being low)

Atmosphere 3 – stylish and very nice though a bit dark.

Food- 4.5 excellent I really wanted to try more things, but got too full.

Service- 2 - really so-so, we were being waited on by two bartenders, and it felt really impersonal. Not really fun. The woman bartender was a bit better but the guy was kind of a jerk.

Dessert 5- I LOVE banana tempura. I used to make it at home, even when we lived back in philly years ago. This restaurant served their’s with chocolate. I preferred to prepare mine with honey drizzeled on top. But this was a great dessert.

Would I go back? I think so, but there are other places I want to explore in our neighborhood first. The smoke was a real detraction actually.

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