Thursday, February 10, 2005

Wakano Ura

My spies tell me that there may be some controversey brewing at the SN&R between ex-editor Jackson Griffith and Christian Kiefer. I'll investigate further.

This is so cool! I was searching the net for stuff on Wakano Ura, because I was guessing it must be one of the oldest Japanese restaurants in Sac (the chop suey sign is the big clue), and I found something on Chowhound.com (which is a great resource, mostly for New York, but Sac gets mentioned a fair amount on the cali message board). It has a little of the history, check it out: http://www.chowhound.com/california/boards/california/messages/16482.html
here's a continuation of that review-it tells about the history of chop suey!
http://www.chowhound.com/california/boards/california/messages/16493.html
And that search led me to an article about a book that tells about sac's Japantown:
http://www.sacbee.com/static/archive/ourtown/history/jtown.html
I'm gonna buy the book when I get paid next month.

Anyway, on to my review. We went there in search of a chicken soup that Homzee remembered as really good. Poor guy is getting sick. The place is cavernous, but half the dining room is sectioned off with screens, which led me to wonder whether this place was so hoppin' in the 50's or 60's that they needed the whole space. It's a no-frills place, but still cute somehow. There is a small salad bar that has fried chip-things, edamame, pickled bean sprouts, and iceberg salad with sesame dressing. I think that the salad bar is free to any patron, but I'm not quite sure because the menu was confusing on that point. They have really cheap cold sake, 2.75 for an adorable little bottle with a pop-top. It was good. The waitress was so sweet, there was a bit of a language barrier, but we basically overcame it. That's a run-on sentence, but fuck it. Is that a run-on too? Anyway, I ordered under pressure because I hadn't had much time with the menu, but I got a box dinner with veggie tempura and crispy tofu. That's right, two fried things. H got the roasted chicken noodle soup. My dinner was really tasty. The veggie tempura had two asparagus spears that were cooked perfectly. It came with a little pork gyoza that had it's own vinegary and spicy dipping sauce. Delicious. The tofu had a nice crispy coating that was totally different from tempura and it was soft as butter inside. It was sitting in a sauce that was a bit overly sweet, but it was still really good. The cali roll that came with was not good. It was mushy and tasteless. H liked his chicken soup, but it wasn't quite as good as he remembered. It came with a chopped-up chicken leg on top, with plenty of noodles and broth. I tasted the broth and it sure was chicken-y! I'll report on whether it cured his cold. Oh yeah, my dinner included some strawberry-orange ice cream. Everyone there was sweet as hell and a couple of regulars came in and bought gift certificates for family members. I definitely recommend you give this place a try.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sadly, all that's left of Japantown is the Pre-Flyte Lounge.

miller

Anonymous said...

That place is delish, sort of hard to catch open drop-by style, but trying to plan for it is worth it. They do things really simple there. I once got a bowl of seasoned rice sprinkled with black sesame seeds, and two pieces of tuna sashimi. It was so plain, but so good!!! I can still conjure up how good it was, and this was probably like 1997...Me and DP and Anna tried to go there recently but it was closed.

alice said...

Not Japantown, but. . .

The Chinese New Year Cultural Association is having a big party at CSUS next weekend

http://www.cnycasacramento.org/

Here is the schedule of performances

http://www.cnycasacramento.org/programs/2005_programs_stage.htm

including. . .
Shaolin Kungfu
Popular Oldie Songs from Taiwan
Hip Hop and Yo Yo
Walking on eggs
Eyelid lifting buckets of water
Popular Folk Songs from Mainland
SzeChuan Opera Face Changing

Anonymous said...

Your gossip/news about SN&R (CK vs JG) better include some swinging or else you "elitist" title is going to be revoked!

a
nony

katymonster said...

Waksano Ura is the best.

except when i asked for Miso, they gave me nasty fish soup.

my only gripe.

Anonymous said...

I was soooo excited aboutthe Jackson/Christian feud. I have been following their lack of coverage for years now. However, part of me thinks it may be a joke between the two. If not -- pretty harsh, Jackson.

-heckamax

Anonymous said...

When I was volunteering at the Crocker library I read some great stuff about Sac's Japantown.

that book looks really cool.