i thought i'd tell you guys about kansai restaurant in japantown. for years my mom and i have been going to osakaya (awful) for lunch during our shopping trips, until someone from this board mentioned kansai.
you won't find any $4.99 bento boxes there, but they do have a daily lunch special that costs around $9, or a lunch combination (choice of two items plus salad, soup, kobachi, rice and pickles) for $12.95 or the lunch set (one item plus salad, soup, rice, pickles) that average around $11.00. the courses are numerous, portions generous, presentation immaculate and ingredients top quality. all things considered it is an incredible value.
on a recent visit we ordered the following:
1. vegetable tempura lunch set ($11.95) came with soup, salad, rice, pickles and kobachi. the tempura was very good. a light coating of batter fried to a golden brown. all the vegetables were cooked to tender perfection inside.
2. lunch combination($12.95)with the kaki(oyster) fry and maguro sashimi. four generous sized oysters fried with a panko coating came accompanied by japanese potato salad, shredded cabbage, steamed broccoli and a dab of karashi (yellow mustard) on the side. also came with soup, salad, rice, pickles and kobachi.
3. lunch combination ($12.95) with saba shioyaki and hamachi sashimi. the mackeral was perfectly grilled and came with japanese potato salad, cabbage, broccoli and grated daikon radish. the fish in both cases was very fresh. also came with soup, salad, rice, pickles and kobachi.
not cheap but very good. click on the link below for the full write up with photos.