Wa Okan Dining (Lunch)
Wa Dining Okan
3860 Convoy St #110
San Diego, CA 92111
I've been wanting to visit Wa Okan Dining for lunch ever since they began offering it but I wasn't able to because it was only offered on weekdays. I'm not sure when, but at some point, they began to offer it on Saturdays as well. I learned of this through Cathy of mmm-yoso.
When I realized they now serve the lunch menu on Saturday, I was extremely excited and went to visit as soon as I could.
The lunch menu offered is very limited. There are only a few items to choose from and there are no choice in the tapas. But the prices are pretty good too, with a lunch set being around $10. I've liked almost everything I've eaten at Okan so I was pretty sure I'd like the lunch even though I wouldn't have many choices. Plus, I liked how much cheaper it was.
We arrived at the end of lunch and got a seat at the bar. The menu works like this: there is a "basic" for $6.50. This consists of three small tapas, rice, soup and homemade pickles. Then you separately order the main entree, which there were four choices that day.
I ordered the set lunch with the marinated short ribs. BF ordered the set lunch with the spicy tuna bowl.
We were served a strong cold brewed tea.
Here is the set of tapas, rice and soup:
The tapas: a marinated eggplant that had a hint of wasabi; shirataki noodles with roe eggs; stewed daikon and carrots.
I loved all of them, though my favorite was the shirataki noodles with roe eggs. Every time I eat here, I am always amazed at how tasty everything is. The tapas are so simple, and have the feel of a homestyle dish rather than restaurant style, and yet they are so delicious. I am as pleased eating these simple dishes as I am eating at a fancy restaurant.
The tapas I've had are always well made and I love the creativity too. I've had shirataki noodles many times and served many different ways, but I've never had them topped with roe eggs. I really loved this combination. The saltiness of the roe eggs was a perfect match for the plain shirataki noodles. This is my favorite way I've seen shirataki noodles served.
I glanced over at BF's set, and his tapas were completely gone before I was even halfway done with mine. Normally, getting him to eat these type of dishes or anything with vegetables is like a chore. But he loves the tapas here as much as I do.
I was even a fan of the miso soup. Normally, I'm not a big fan of miso soup. I'll drink it if it's put in front of me, but it's not something I particularly enjoy. This miso soup was full of goodies: carrots, onions, fried tofu, and bits of konjac. I loved all the ingredients in the miso. This was the first miso soup I've enjoyed in a long while.
My brown rice was mixed with seaweed. I loved the look. The rice ended up going perfectly with my marinated short ribs.
My ribs were nicely marinated and well flavored. I liked that the pieces I was served were pretty lean cuts of the meat. Sometimes when I order this dish at restaurants, it seems half the meat is just chunks of fat.
BF ordered the spicy tuna bowl which wasn't on the menu. I only had a bite, but I liked what I ate.
On my way out, I made note to pass by the new restaurant that has taken over the old Shanghai City, which Kirk of mmm-yoso had reported about. The new sign is already up and it's called Spicy House.
They were vans and things looked busy busy inside as they set up the place. I don't know too much about the restaurant yet, but while I was passing by, who should pop his head out of the restaurant, the owner of DeDe's! I don't know for sure that Spicy House is owned by the owner of DeDe's, perhaps he was just paying it a visit.