Last friday, I went to see a movie and after that, my husband and I wanted to try a new restaurant my friend told me about. The restaurant’s called, the Kazu. It’s a Japanese place that opened about 2 years ago and really loved by people who know about it.
It’s an Izakaya restaurant. I didn’t know what it was but I can now tell you! Traditionally, it was a place where men went to get a drink after work. Now, in Japan, lots of different people go there to get a drink and eat too. The word Izakaya is a combination of I which means “to stay” and sakaya which means “sake shop”. So, I don’t know if I’ll infuriate the real Japanese fan, but I’d say this place is like a Japanese pub with really good food. There is usually a lantern (or many) in front of the restaurant, which explains why sometimes it’s called an akachōchin (which means red lantern).
So, back to the Kazu. You know those restaurants that everybody that knows food or is hip knows about? It’s that kind of place. But don’t think you need to be a socialite to fit in at all. All kinds of people were eating in that restaurant. I saw a famous movie critic coming out of the restaurant, university students, tourists, regulars, couples and group of friends.
The experience starts on the street. Yes, because there always is a line to get into the restaurant. At first I thought I’d never be patient enough to stay in the line or that it would take ages before I could get in but the wait was around 30-45 minutes for us to get in.
You must wonder how come I don’t remember if it was 30 or 45 minutes I waited. It’s because I kinda started talking with people in front of me in the line (hey once a chatterbox, always a chatterbox right?). Those 2 blond guys with their big cans of beer were wondering if it was that good that people made such a line to enter such a tiny restaurant. We all laughed and I told them about what my friend told me about this place. They were from Boston (with a little bit of the accent) visiting the city for 24 hours only. They drove 5 hours to come here for 24h! They were supposed to go to a marathon in Philadelphia but they had health issues and were forced to cancel that idea so they thought they’d come here and visit. My goal was to make them want to stay for the whole weekend (that part will remain unknown as we parted ways after our respective dinner).
They were really funny and friendly. We laughed a lot and for once knowing French was cool to someone haha ! We started talking about languages, USA vs Canada famous stars, what was cool to do in here (like I can pass for someone who knows that !) and then, we entered, almost forgetting we were waiting for something in that line.
And the wait, was tooootally worth it!
First of all, you have to know that probably 30 people can eat at the same time tops!! So that place is really tiny. The walls are covered with papers with the specials written on it. But the most surprising part of that restaurant is the tiny waitress there with that low voice welcoming you, “Diner for 2? Ahhh Follow me!” She surprised me! She had almost the voice of a sumo guy but was really, really tiny and short! We ended up eating at the bar which for me was wonderful. I could see the guys cooking stuff and they even chatted with my when I asked them questions about their food. The fact that they could keep a conversation and being THAT busy impressed me!
But then, I’m sure you want to know about the food don’t you? I was told to take Gyozas, okonomiyaki or the octopus. I’m an adventurous eater so I didn’t mind trying on new thingsJ. My husband ended up ordering the octopus on special that day and I took the salmon and tuna tartar since I didn’t find the Gyozas on the menu (maybe I looked at it wrong).
Here’s what my plate looked like.
It was sooo delicious. At first I was wondering where the tartar actually was but under the fried rice vermicelli, the salad and the vegetables was my tartar. There was a nice dressing on everything. It tasted a little of sesame, rice vinegar and other things I couldn’t tell. There was rice on the bottom of the bowl but not too much, just enough to keep the balance of the dish. The entire plate was delicious, really tasty. You know when you ate something that was really good, felt light because it was fresh, healthy and satisfying? That’s how I felt.
And my husband’s place was emptied too fast for me to even take a picture so here’s what was left of it.
It was also really delicious. It was a little spicy and really nicely plated. Lots of vegetables and salad. It went fast!!!
We also took a sake carafe since it is actually a place to drink! It was served with little bamboo sake cups which I thought was original yet simple J.
We both ate a little of each other’s place with our chopsticks. But in the end, with the itsy bitsy bits left in my plate, we went on spoon mode to get all the rest of our wonderful dish. With our 2 meals, the sake, we left with a bill under 50$ service included so really, I will go there again.
Here‘s a French critic of that place.
Here‘s a English one.