Jul 1, 2008

Charlie Foxtrot

Happy Canada Day!

Last week, as I was walking back to my condo in the dark from the parking lot in the dark after dinner at my aunt's house after dinner, CRRRUNNNCH!!! Since the sprinklers come on in the evening, the snails come out to frolic on the pathways, and it's pretty easy to accidentally step on one in the dark.
Somehow I managed to step on six at once.


On an unrelated note, I've been trying to work my way through all the tea I have stashed away. I've been a vietnamese coffee drip thing with the assam granules, and that seems to work ok, although initially the water drips right through until the tea expands a bit and slows the drip rate. It comes out reasonably strong, and I think I'm a bit overcaffienated this week.


I've been wanting to try out Kappa restaurant ever since I read the SF Chronicle review last year. We had gone looking for it once, but never found it, the little hidden location adding to the mystique.

This time, a little better informed, I found it easily. It's located up above the old Denny's in Japantown (now reopened as "New Danny's", but it looked like it was serving the same swill), beside a Korean karaoke bar. The restaurant consists of a row of bar seating for maybe 8, and a little small room with a tiny table. From the outside, all this hides behind a nondescript black sliding door, with no windows and no sign. The only clue is the japanese style lamp beside the door.

Inside we were welcomed warmly by the hostess. The tiny restaurant is run by an older japanese couple, who have been running the place for 23 years. The man cooks, while the wife serves and prepares desserts in her kimono. Intimate, serene, and homey at the same time, the ambience is probably one of the best reasons to come here.

I was hoping for kaiseki style cuisine, something that's a little harder to find. I've kind of developed a taste for at Toronto's Katsura and have been missing it here. The koryori style served at Kappa was still good, but not quite as splendid. We had the omakase (it's hard to order, the menu is written on the wall in kanji). The items were mostly simple and clean, but not as refined as I was hoping for. There were more deep fried dishes than steamed or soupy. On the one headline platter, there were a number of items that left me wanting much more. The other dishes though, were good, but felt plain. Click on the photos for descriptions.

Overall, the experience was extremely pleasant, although it felt a little more expensive than it was worth (although, one could explain that by the fact that we only saw 7 customers that evening, including us).

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