Santa Clara’s Iroriya, a different take on Japanese

From homemade – on the table made tofu, to sashimi, to vegetable tempura, to soy sauce ice cream, to fried chicken, to even more fried chicken. If you wonder where all this food is coming from, it’s all coming from Iroriya. The most unique Japanese place in all of Bay Area. It is located in a small strip mall in Santa Clara and doesn’t even have a big name board. When we went there we searched for about 15 min and then called the restaurant to find the place . It is tucked right in between a ramen noodle place.

The feeling when you enter the restaurant was modern, Industrial yet very cosy, intimate and homely. There were naturally curved wooden tables which had holes in between, and for fun in some of the holes they had filled it with glass. Under the glass you could see some toy sea life. It was fun for my little sister to look for the toy crabs and Nemo fishes.

The service was very warm, I mean literally warm. They gave us a warm wash cloth to wipe our hands and face once we settled in the chairs with our menu. Thats how warm it was.

The style of cooking within Japanese was very unique. The fish is cooked in a style called Himono. It means charcoal grilled sun-dried fish. By using this method, the fish preserves more of it’s nutritional benefits, as well as keeping the freshness of the fish. This is the full description of Himono style of cooking from the menu.

Out of all the amazing food options, my favorite was the hand made tofu or as I call it made it on table right in front of your eyes tofu. If it had a motto, it would be “smooth as silk, tasty as the tastiest food in the world.” I agree, it is a little cheesy, but don’t we always come up with cheesy mottos. One thing I loved about the tofu was the experience that came along with it. At first, a pot with soy milk was brought to the table, it was a smooth and creamy looking soup. Then, they lit a small fire underneath the pot, and the milk was boiled for 15 minutes, this way the milk could cook right at your table and become tofu. Wa La! After 15 minutes, the milk turned out to be more tofu like, it was jiggly, a little more firm and absolutely delicious. The tofu was eaten like a soup because it was so creamy. Before it was eaten, the tofu was sprinkled with 3 different salts to add a kick to the dish. This was the tipping point from exceeding expectations to meeting the fully exceeded expectation. Other than just the most amazing taste and experience, it was also the most unique piece of food I have ever tasted.

The 3 salts had unique taste, one had a wasabi flavor and one had a smoked slat flavor and one was regular salt. img_83381.jpg

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