Osaka, My Hero
Saturday night found two friends and me bored, lazy, and sick and tired of cafeteria food. So, like any three take-charge feminist ladies would do in such a crisis, we got dressed up and went out. Now, in Northampton, "going out" means one of two things: either hitting up Diva's, the local gay club (and for that matter, the only local club... oh Northampton), or heading downtown for a good meal and a drink. It being only 6:00, we opted for the latter. After much discussion (NoHo has a lot of options) we settled on Osaka, a tried-and-true stalwart. And, of course, it didn't disapoint.
The wait at Osaka is always long for weekend dinners, but we snagged seats at the sushi bar, which is somewhat inconveniently located right near the hostess's stand, meaning we were pretty consistently bombarded with elbows and handbags belonging to impatient people hoping for a table. But once our drinks came, all was forgiven. I ordered the "lychee sake," figuring I'd liked the ginger sake-tini I had at the chic Tunnel Bar a few weeks ago, so I'd give this a shot. And sweet mother, what a luscious shot it was. Turns out lychee sake is basically, um, alcoholic lychee juice. Sweet, light, with that amazing grape-meets-heaven taste... I am a big, big fan. If anybody can tell me where to buy this stuff in bulk, please let me know. *Ahem.* Anyway.
I was torn in my entree decision-- usually cold, damp nights like last night call for tempura udon, but I also hadn't had sushi in entirely too long. But then, the beef from the hibachi table smelled divine. In the end, though, Nina came through in the decision-making clutch, and we elected to collectively order and share the Dance Roll (Crabmeat & cucumber with crunch eel and chef special sauce on top) and the Angel Roll (Sliced tuna roll around spicy crab meat & avocado). I'm a big fat pig and pretty much hogged the Dance Roll, mostly because the Angel was Atkins-friendly and completely devoid of rice, which, at Osaka, is kind of a shame. My roll (as it will henceforth be known) was light, fresh, and piled high with chunks of sweet eel and crunchy tobiko, topped with a brown, sweet sauce and spicy mayonaise. Delish. Neil's spicy noodles were also quite tasty, and I benefited from that deal as well, because I got to "rescue" her from any mushroom invaders on her plate.
Osaka is a treat. It isn't expensive for the quality, but its still a little pricey for a college-kid budget. At $5 for the sake and $9.95 for the roll, it did a decent amount of damage to my wallet, but my goodness it was worth it.
7 Old South Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Osaka competes with Easthampton's Apollo Grill for "Top Restaurant" on my list of Valley faves.
Thanks for listing my site! I'm enjoying yours.
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