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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yoshoku Rock: Italy Meets Japan On the Bridge

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 5:15 PM

click to enlarge Chef Mitsu's food has bite, too. - T. PALMER
  • T. Palmer
  • Chef Mitsu's food has bite, too.
Crossing Japan Center's Webster Street sky walk, we've made mental promises to eat at On the Bridge (1581 Webster at Post) for so many years, it's embarrassing. It's always looked so bright and fun, and chef Mitsu Nakamura's menu featuring Japanese remixes of European staples like pizza and pasta (called yoshoku) so intriguing.

Today, we finally kept our promise to ourselves. After a first pass at the menu, we were pretty firm in our resolve to order calamari and kimchi spaghetti and a bowl of "XXX" spicy curry over rice (next time), until we were tempted by two of the chef's newest specials: pesto soba ($8.25) and okonomiyaki pizza ($9.25), washed down with bottles of melon and lychee Ramune ($2.25). Soju and sake cocktails looked fetching, but promised to derail the rest of the day's work.

click to enlarge Two great tastes that taste great together: Okonomiyaki pizza. - T. PALMER
  • T. Palmer
  • Two great tastes that taste great together: Okonomiyaki pizza.
The pizza, loaded with pickled ginger, nori, bonito flakes, sweet mayo, and green onions, cloaked a slight smear of tomato sauce underneath, making the flavor a lot more familiar than the appearance suggested. What looked to be heavy was ultimately quite light -- as was the chewy, bubbly crust.

click to enlarge Easy, breezy, beautiful: Pesto soba. - T. PALMER
  • T. Palmer
  • Easy, breezy, beautiful: Pesto soba.

The pesto soba, served cold, was minimally dressed -- just a scattering of

sweet tomato cubes and daikon and a dusting of parmesan and nori. We found ourselves scooping extra bits of the pesto off the plate long after the noodles were history.

This is the kind of spot that would take a long time to work your way through the menu. But thank heaven we finally started, after all these years.

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Tamara Palmer

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