We've been gradually eating our way through Wendy-san's list of recommendations for Japanese food in San Mateo, and so far everything has been wonderful. Our recent yo-fu izakaya (western-style bar food) dinner at DEN was no exception.
We ordered a few dishes at a time, which resulted in us sampling rather a large number of dishes and sakes (it was a long and lovely evening).
Some of the particularly memorable dishes included:
Maguro and hamachi tartar - a beautiful dish of finely chopped fish on top of a mound of chopped avocado and tofu, drizzled with tobiko, mayonnaise and sesame oil (it was surprisingly light and delicious)
Tori tsukune (grilled chicken meatballs). These were so light and springy they tasted as though they had been poached, instead of grilled. They were covered in a sweet sauce that contrasted nicely with fresh kaiware daikon sprouts and slivers of green onion.
Buri daikon (braised yellowtail and daikon). Succulent chunks of fish and daikon simmered in a sweet soysauce broth. We ate the fish skin and all, down to the delicious pockets of gelatinous fat tucked in the bones that had no fishy odor whatsoever.
Kamo nabe (duck soup) - tender pink slices of duck breast on a raft of char-grilled green onions and a piece of grilled mochi, in a rich salty broth.
We finished with yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls). They were crisp but not too hard on the outside, and had a surprise cheese filling, which I wasn't too crazy about. My hesitation led to my dining companion quickly disposing of the rest of my onigiri.
We tried several sakes, of which our favorite was a flowery ginjo, Dewazakura "Dewasanzan".
Thank you Wendy-san!
30 South B Street