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Pancho | Jan 9, 200407:02 PM     2

The 20 year old and I ventured out on a father-son bonding trip (he has a cold, so he doesn't even have to pretend to listen). Helpfully, I suggested udon at Gombei. He surprised me by ordering vegetarian udon, even after I'd teased him about his mad cow fears.

Gombei's udon bowls are...capacious and the udon had the fresh, fresh-cooked chewiness that made the 20 year old smile. Then he tried the tofu. It came from San Jose Tofu (I embarassed him by asking), but he knew it was fresh, along with the asparagus, bok choy, gobo and carrots. He draws the line at the lotus root that showed up, but I was persuaded that they were cooking Japanese style.

I had oyako donburi which came out just right. The fried onions were still a little crunchy, the egg wasn't cooked hard into an omelet, and the chicken chunks were white and dark meat and generously sprinkled throughout. Simple, but 4 times out of 6, I get it wrong at home...

I'm going back. So's the 20 year old, even though the next booth over featured another father lecturing his son about setting up a budget and sticking to it. Hmmmmmmmm. We stuck to the Red Sox, over whom many, many of our meals have been wasted.

Lunch for 2: $14.75 plus $3 tip.

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