Cheap Eats 2017: Izakaya Blue Ocean


Photo by Scott Suchman

Many ramen shops and izakayas these days have an eye for design—even if they’ve simply adopted a cookie-cutter industrial look. This is a homelier place, slightly cramped and awash in drab colors. None of that matters, though, if the kitchen is on its game. This one is impressive with both the raw (garnet slices of tuna atop excellent rice, nigiri of luscious salmon belly and fatty tuna) and the cooked (a properly crunchy pork katsu). The tiny salad bar, which comes with many entrées, isn’t much to look at, either—but the sesame dressing is so tasty you’ll wish the place bottled it. Also good: Shrimp-tempura roll; miso-marinated cod.

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