Thursday, May 14, 2009

Access Permitted

Remember a few weeks ago when we wanted to eat at a neighborhood restaurant and were denied for the second time? Well, that only strengthened our resolve to get in to that place. I mean, what could all the fuss be that it's so busy not only random night, but two? 

(On a side note, my Okinawan friend suggested we go there right when they open. If we were turned away again, that means they didn't want our business). 

So determined to infiltrate, we set out early and were finally finally granted access into its inner secret world.

The restaurant's motif seems to be that angry looking pink ghosty thing, which we don't quite get. Anyway, from the picture, you can see the outside is pretty non-descript. 

BUT... prepare yourself to walk inside. Once you enter and pass through the dark foyer, you are immersed in all this:

Cherry blossoms, votives, and red chinese lanterns

More cherry blossoms and lanterns
Stepping stones leading to secret dining areas

and drawn curtains hiding the restaurant clientele

They seem to really like anonymity in these places....has anyone else ever noticed that? Can someone in the know about Japanese culture explain that to me?

So, the ambiance was amazing and the food was good too. We ordered a few things including a spinach salad and a sizzling plate of beef, but the winner was a toasted custard french toast thing topped with vanilla ice cream and syrup. We've seen this on menus in other places and never tried it, but it was excellent.

Gratuitous food shots

This kind of restaurant in Japan is called an Izakaya and it's somewhat like a pub in England. Big groups are welcome including children and people stay for hours (and I mean all night). The menu is huge with everything from appetizers to dessert. Unfortunately, I never found out the name of it, but if you're in Okinawa and want to go there, I can give you the directions.

***Directions: It's near the Toys R Us in Awase Shopping Center. To get there, take the 81 and make a left on 329. Go past the Living Design Square and continue straight. At the McDonalds, turn Right and continue. Toys R Us will be on the right, but keep going to the very end of that street until the next big intersection. On the Left, you'll see two restaurants side by side. This restaurant which has a Japanese name is the one to the left of Agariya Global Dining(you'll see a sign for it). Parking is in front of the restaurant. 

Do you have a favorite local hangout restaurant?

6 comments:

K and S said...

I found the restaurant on the web and there is no explanation of the angry cherry blossom, I am thinking it is just a drawing. But, the restaurant does take reservations, which is probably why you may have been turned away.

Tam said...

Hi, I came across your blog and it was so much fun to read. I am a soon to be military wife in 3 weeks and I wanted to read other wives experiences. My fiance will be deploying to Qatar so we will have experiences of our own. Can't wait for the adventure to begin. Thanks for the good read.

Erin @ What A Trip said...

What a wonderful blog! Linked over from the comment you left on mine and am now totally engrossed.

The interior of that restaurant is amazing. I love the cherry blossoms. Glad to hear that you finally got to eat there!

Edna Zhou said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog- really cool one you have here too!

I actually don't know much about the Panda Reserve in Chengdu, but I can tell you that China is wonderful in mild weather, though it's a small time frame- it's already pretty hot over in Shanghai now!

Jennifer said...

HI Mary,
I found you via okinawa hai, can you please post directions to this restaurant, it looks so cool!
Thanks!

Mary and Sean said...

Jennifer,
Thanks for stopping by...I posted the directions in the original post above. Hope you enjoy it. My advice is to go early since they tend to fill up. If it's full, Agariya next door is a good fall back...

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