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San Francisco Bay Area Japanese Comfort Food

Japanese comfort food - Kui Shin Bo

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Japanese comfort food - Kui Shin Bo

Celeste | Nov 19, 2003 08:07 PM

OK, it's time for me to fess up now that I finally have time to post.

I have been eating at least 1/3 of my lunch meals for the past month at the same establishment, and I just can't stop. I have never seen postings on it here.

The place is called Kui Shin Bo, in Japan Center in the uppermost pod of the mall (next to the five and dime-ish Japanese store). It's quite a small joint, perhaps 10 tables and 5 bar spots.

I love it for its comfort food. Every day there are five or six specials on the white board in addition to the printed menu, which has the usual smattering of tonkatsu, nabeyaki, chicken teriyaki, etcetera.

The special I enjoyed today was a whole crab cracked open and steamed with some savories in the cavity, tonkatsu-style vegetables, and chawan mushi (delicate steamed custard with spinach, chicken pieces on bottom), along with their PERFECT PERFECT sticky rice.

By perfect rice I mean cooked just to toothsome, with a lovely polish and just sticking to itself.

Other times I have enjoyed their tuna donburi, which is a sort of pancake of fresh tuna pieces mixed with soy sauced onions and egg laid over rice. I ate this when I had the flu one day and it restored me to consciousness. I had never had anything like this when I lived in Japan but I imagined it would be something my mother would make me if she was Japanese.

Or their fresh fish specials are always divine, whole mackerel often with noodles or an interesting side dish.

The ginger pork is a mess of thinly sliced pork with onions in a miso/ginger/soy sauce.

It's always just a bit more food than I can manage to stuff in, for about $10 a lunch. Not dazzling cuisine, but rather perfect in its simplicity. And I just need to mention that perfect rice again. It is what all Japanese sticky rice aspires to be.

I'm curious if any of you have tried this place. If you go on a weekday lunch, I'm the girl in a green jacket eating too much in the corner. :-)

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