Spending much of my time in Hammond Building, the opening of a Tadashi across the street on College Ave was quite the delight. The new Japanese restaurant replaced *ndulge Cupcakes last semester. Being teased by posters of familiar Japanese foods on the glass windows, I eagerly went to Tadashi with two friends to figure out how the new Japanese restaurant stacked up to my expectations.
Upon entering the restaurant, my friends and I were led to the “big table,” which was a bit humorous considering the “big table” was a table for four. The restaurant itself, being rather quaint, consisted of several tables for two, plentiful counter seats, and our “big table”. The scene reminded me of the traditional izakaya of Japan which is essentially a small restaurant meant for socializing with small appetizers and a glass of beer.
Sitting at our table, I was delighted to see that collegiate gymnastics was on T.V. and country music was playing throughout the restaurant. Gymnastics, country music, and Japanese food seemed like my sort of place.
The menu offered a variety of traditional Japanese appetizers, ranging from your basic edamame to tako wasabi, the latter of which is bits of octopus soaked in wasabi sauce. I once ordered tako wasabi at a crowded restaurant full of drunken Japanese business men and was consequently laughed at for ordering an old man food item, but enough about me. Additionally on the menu were a variety of salads, ramen noodles, and assortment of yakitori.
What’s yakitori, you ask? It literally means cooked chicken, but yakitori is typically various meats skewered and grilled to perfection. Tadashi’s menu featured beef, pork, some seafood, some vegetables, and several chicken body parts including but not limited to white meat chicken, chicken gizzard, chicken heart, and chicken skin.
Anyway, here’s a rundown of what my friends and I ordered:
Yuka: Chicken Gizzard Yakitori, Quail Egg Yakitori, and Spicy Miso Ramen. – In my opinion, it’s pretty difficult to screw up grilled meat on skewers, but nevertheless the gizzard and quail egg were phenomenal. In comparison, ramen noodles can easily be a hit or miss when eating at a Japanese restaurant. Fear not, for the spicy ramen noodles at Tadashi were fantastic. I was a bit upset that they were out of the takoyaki appetizer, which is a ball of dough resembling a sauce and seasoning covered munchkin with a bit of octopus inside. Nevertheless, I was genuinely pleased with what I ordered. Overall experience: 9.5/10
(Chicken Gizzard Yakitori and Quail Egg Yakitori)
Sophia Grace: Yakitori Don -The yakitori don is a collection of four yakitori skewers over a hefty mound of white rice. The menu consists of multiple preset choices for the types of meat on the yakitori dons, but the one Sophia Grace ordered had two chicken chunk skewers, one beef skewer, and one pork belly skewer. “The food was really good, all the different types of meats was delicious, I’m stuffed, and it’s a good value for your money.” Overall experience: 8/10
Rosie: Spicy Miso Ramen – The ramen was spicy, indeed, but very good. Overall experience: 9/10, “But it’s not comparable to many other Japanese restaurants.”
(Spicy Miso Ramen)
It should be noted that Tadashi is much different from what you would normally expect from a Japanese restaurant, in that there is no sushi or teriyaki chicken, but that makes it all the better in my mind. On top of it all, it’s refreshing to be able to slurp some ramen noodles in public without being ridiculed.
As Rosie put it, “You need to get over the fact that you’re eating things like chicken gizzards, and can’t be a picky eater.”