Wa Dining Okan

This cozy Japanese eatery serves reasonably priced home-style bento boxes for lunch and a wide assortment of small dishes for dinner.  The lunch menu is small – which maybe is a good thing – the food was excellent though not necessarily inspirational, and the service was friendly.  I had braised pork belly which looked like it was going to be dry and clammy, but was in fact moist, salty, perfect.  Others at our table had grilled salmon or in a thick vegetable sauce, and ginger pork.  The bento box comes with some fine pickles and a selection of sides.  I was especially tickled that each of our boxes seemed to come with a different set of sides, as though just the right ones had been chosen to go with each center-plate protein.  There was okra, some funny little daikons and potatoes, and a nice wild rice.  Great roast green iced tea.  All the flavors were fairly subtle, but not a single item let me down.

I think a problem we’re going to run into a lot on the Recon is the wide gap between lunch and dinner menus (especially at the dim sum joints), but judging from a glance at the dinner menu, my guess is that lunch here is good, but dinner might be exceptional.  Certainly, I shall eat here again.

addendum: I did in fact come back for dinner a couple weeks later and it was in fact exceptional.  Standouts included gobi salad, subtly flavored rice balls, and duck with green onions.  The place was full of Japanese salarymen unwinding after beaming over from Tokyo.

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