Wa Dining Okan
Tucked in the corner of the strip-mall that houses Nijiya Market is a tiny, warm little restaurant called Okan. I realize that the word “tapas” is used to describe almost every type of appetizer or small plate these days, and indeed Okan uses it to describe simmered, homey, Japanese comfort dishes served from the large plates that line a U-shaped counter.
There is quite a bit to choose from, as the menu covers a lot of ground, with everything from grilled dishes to sashimi. I’d recommend going with a couple of the small plates from the counter, perhaps a salad; my favorite is the gobo salad, shaved, fried burdock root piled high on a bed of mizuna (mildly peppery greens). It not only tastes good, but makes a statement. While noshing, you can satiate that soju craving by picking one of 30 choices on the list. The sake list is smaller but has everything from good everyday sakes such as Kikusui and Otokoyama, to the wonderfully floral Kubota Manju. You can top off your meal with onigiri (rice balls), a soba or udon dish, or one of a number of rice dishes.
The vibe is fairly relaxed; there’s usually a bit of jazz playing in the background. The whole shop holds about 30 people max and gets crowded, so reservations are recommended.
— Kirk K.
Lunch Hours: Monday–Saturday 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Dinner Hours: Monday–Wednesday 5:30–11:00 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday 5:30 p.m.–midnight; Sunday 5:30–10:00 p.m.
Fare: Japanese small dishes, sashimi, grilled, fried, simmered, and salads.
Vibe: Casual and cozy, with jazz usually playing in the background.
Must try: Gobo salad, along with a few of the daily special small dishes.
Need to know: The restaurant is tiny, so reservations are recommended. The bar area is good for solo diners. Ample parking, though the spaces are small.
|Price range of entrées||$4 - $24|
|Occasional live music||No|
|Payment Options||Accepts credit cards|