Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Takashi

Location: 1952 N Damen
Cost: About $30 per person (for the Sunday noodle dinner)

As a medical student, it's one of your main jobs to get to the hospital before everyone else and ask the patient some basic questions so that you can report back to your team. You ask about their ability to walk around, go to the bathroom, and eat to get an idea if they can go home safely. I asked a patient the other day if he was able to tolerate his general diet, and his response was, "Well, it's not Takashi."

My parents came into the city for one of our typical Sunday dinners. I tossed out a bunch of options, and the idea of small plate Japanese food and Ramen was intriguing to them. Thus, we ended up at Takashi.

Logistics
Takashi is just south of the Armitage and Damen intersection in a pretty unassuming building. They've got a welcoming patio out front and a cozy/small dining room. We had a reservation and it was pretty necessary. There was plenty of free street parking around.

Our waiter was very friendly and efficient. Some of the menu can seem a bit overwhelming and they do a nice job of making it approachable. Since we went on a Sunday night, we got to order from a specialty menu focusing on small plates and ramen. The soups were in the mid teens and the small plates were mostly under $10. If you go on a regular night, the entrees are around $30 to give you an idea.

The Food
We got things started with a bunch of small plates including the Edamame, the Spicy Napa Cabbage, the Takashi Salad, the Pickled Vegetables, the Masu Sashimi, and the Ebi Harumaki. The cabbage was like a Japanese twist on kimchi. The salad was refreshing and had these crunchy lotus root chips. The Ebi Harumaki were a bunch of shrimp spring rolls with a spicy aioli. The aioli had a real kick and the wrapper was just the right amount of crisp. The Masu Sashimi was a plate of thinly sliced trout and gobo root. It was clean and simple with subtle extras. It was my favorite of the small plates we ordered by far.

The Pickled Vegetables

The Edamame

The Takashi Salad

The Napa Cabbage

The Ebi Harumaki

 The Masu Sashimi

Then we split a Tempura Udon and a Tempura Soba. The tempura add ons to each soup were good, but I don't know if there's too much to be done with tempura. The broths were both fantastic. The soba was a bit darker and spicier while the udon had a light and aromatic sense. The soba noodles were a bit heartier than the udon ones too. Both soups played well to their strengths and we slurped up every last drop.

The Tempura

The Tempura Soba

 The Tempura Udon

Overall
Since I had the Sunday Noodle dinner and not regular menu, my criticisms may be slightly esoteric. That being said, I really enjoyed the meal we had at Takashi. Each small plate was strong, and the soups were good enough to eat even on a hot summer day. I'm giving them 4.5 out of 5 Pearls.


Takashi on Urbanspoon

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