Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Okayama (San Jose, CA)

After spending the afternoon in Monterey Bay and Carmel, our plan was to drive the two hours back to my godparents' neighborhood for some sushi. Well, two hours into the trip, and we were still stuck in stop-and-stop traffic on 101 and not even remotely near where we needed to be... (Pro tip: Do not—I repeat— D O  N O T drive from Monterey Bay back to the San Francisco area at the end of a holiday weekend!) Knowing that we wouldn't be able to make it back to our 'hood until 10 pm, we needed a Plan B for dinner somewhere enroute.

I really don't know how we ever survived in the stone ages before smartphones, but since we're in 2014, R. did an Urbanspoon search and found Okayama in San Jose, which was open 'til 10 pm and along the way. By the time we arrived at 9:15 pm, we had been sitting in the car for 3.5 hours in what should have been a one hour drive between Monterey and San Jose! We were exhausted and ready to stuff ourselves.

Nigiri at Okayama (San Jose)

Nigiri (another view) at Okayama (San Jose)
Nigiri (another view)

Mango Tango Roll at Okayama (San Jose)
Mango Tango Roll

Mango Mochi Ice Cream at Okayama (San Jose)
Mango Mochi Ice Cream

Located in Japantown (a fact we discovered only once we got there), which seemed to be a very heavily residential neighborhood, Okayama was not so much small as it was unassuming. Given the hour, we got down to "business" right away. I ordered nigiri sushi a la carte: Toro (fatty tuna; $8), Hamachi (yellow tail; $4.75), Sake (salmon; $4.50), Unagi (fresh water eel; $5.25), and Hotate (scallop; $4.25). Each order came with two pieces, so the prices were quite good. Everything was amazing, but I was particularly impressed by the melt-in-your-mouth fatty tuna that was just phenomenal. R. got the Mango Tango Roll ($10.50) with salmon, cream cheese, and avocado, topped with mango and thin lemon slices, which we also loved. Since we are big fans of mochi ice cream, we ended our delightful meal with some Mango Mochi Ice Cream (may have been two orders as pictured).

I really can't begin to express what a great find this was. My godparents kept commenting that Okayama was better than the Japanese restaurant that they had originally planned to take us that evening, and I'd have to say this was easily a Top 3 meal for me during my weeklong stay in the Bay Area. And to think, we owe this all to some nasty Californian traffic!

Restaurant info:
565 N 6th St, San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 289-9508

Okayama Japanese on Urbanspoon