Resturant review of Coco Ichibanya (repost from old blog December 07, 2009)

I love Curry, maybe more than Dave Lister, so when I want some immediate spicy gratification, I trot down to the closest CoCo Ichibanya.

Coco Ichibanya, a Japanese curry house chain restaurant

Coco Ichibanya is a Japanese fast food curry house that is quick, easy, and delicious. They are located all around Japan. There are two located in Yokosuka city alone. Like any chain restaurant, they all have a similar feel.Coco Ichibanya has more than just curry rice; also available is nan bread, curry pan, salad, and dessert.

Counter seats are for the sad lonely guys, great for me!

But it’s not all cookie cutter, they do have local specials and seasonal menus. Coco Ichibanya is very foreigner friendly.  The foreigner menu has seven languages.

I can read that!

Ok, this is how it works,-

1: Pick your curry base: Beef, Pork, Hash

2: Pick your topping: There is a wide variety of toppings, from cheese to fried quall eggs, order as many as you want

3: Select the amount of rice: From 200 grams to 600

4: And my favorite, Spice level: From mild to 10

Not that hot...

The face let's you know how your bum will feel later.

This particular trip was my first time playing with level 10. I ordered a half plate of shrimp curry.

Half-plate of ebi curry. level 10

The rice is your typical Japanese sticky rice, good and hearty. The curry is flavorful and tasty, an instant classic.

Yum

That level ten was hot, but it was no match to a curry junky like me, well played, curry, well played.

Done!

If you want to take the experience home with you, you can get take out, delivery, or the Coco Ichibanya ready to make ingredients.

Too bad I don't cook...

Overall, Cocos is not the best, but it is still good, not to mention quick and easy. Keep spicy!

Yokosuka Mikoshi Parade October 18, 2009 (repost from old blog October 25, 2009)

Last Sunday was the Yokosuka City Mikoshi parade. The Mikoshi 神輿 is a Japanese portable shrineIt is paraded out in the streets twice a year, to give the gods pleasure and a chance for the people to give them thanks. It is sort of a holy joy ride.

Mikoshi parade is a pants-free event!

Mikoshi

U.S. Navy's Mikoshi

Mikoshi  Not a Mikoshi, but still cool

The event happens every spring and autumn all around Japan.  The spring festival is to pray to the local gods for a good harvest in the coming months, while the autumn festival is to give thanks to the gods for the year’s harvest.

Adorned atop all of the Mikoshis is a phoenix to act as a messenger to the goddess inside.

Phoenix

Phoenix 2

Each area in Japan has its own Mikoshi. The Mikoshi is traditionally carried by the young men in the local area. But recently women are allowed to carry them. And if no young men are available in the town, ringers from outside can be asked to help for a payment of food and sake. Sounds like when I helped my friend move into their apartment for a pizza. “Hey dude. Can you help my move my shrine, I’ll like, totally get you a cheese ‘za. Dude.”

Granny isn't all that into it.

Step it up Grandma!

The Village People and the shrine of sexy.

This one is for the ladies!

Feeling it!

Hayashi 囃子is the folk music that is played during this parade. Many of the sounds for the performers came from taiko drums, fude, traditional vocalizations, and just banging things on other thing rhythmically.

Taiko

Taiko

Fute. Woodwinds kick ass!

Keepin' the beat  This purple hair'ed guy can whaile!

All along Blue Street venders were set up cooking parade food along with games set up for the children. The varieties of food included takoyaki, yakisoba, obanyaki, frankfurters, grilled corn, yakitori, pineapple on a sick, cotton candy, candy apples, and chocolate bananas.

Yokosuka's special negi tako

Takoyaki come in a ball format.

Fruit on a stick. That makes it better!

Meat stick!

Okonomiyaki

Yakitori = meat on a stick.

Ok, this is the only way to eat fruit, on a stick and covered in chocolate.

Candy Fluff.

A children's card game

Overall if you are visiting Japan and are lucky enough to present during the semiannual Mikoshi parade, check it out, it is one of the many things unique about Japan.

Shishimai

Kosho  Kosho 2

Doraimon  I don't think his shirt says "I'm with stupid"

Drunk Mask  Crazy eye o_0

Okuninushimikoto 

The coolist old guy ever!

Kura Sushi Restaurant Review (Repost from old blog September 20, 2009)

Sushi, so we meet again. Sushi has been the butt of many Western negative concepts of Eastern food. “Hey, you forgot to cook this” “We call that bait where I’m from.” And the most frustrating conversation I get is “It’s disgusting.” Which I query, “have you ever tried it?” “Uhh, No.” If you are one of these people go back to your Budweiser and Hot Pockets.

For good and cheap sushi I hit up Kura Sushi located along the Eastern water front on the outskirts of Yokosuka down by PC Depot and across the street from The Red Lobster. The best part about this place is the massive variety and the price (most plates are 105 Yen).

Here is the front door, facing away from the main highway.

Kura 1

So I came in on the weekend in the evening, big mistake if you are bringing a large family. There is normally at least a 30 min wait for a table during high traffic time. Thankfully for me the counter for lonely folks was open.

Kura 2

So here is how it works:

1.       Wait for one of the various items to pass by you on the conveyor belt.

Kura 3

2.       Pick up anything that catches your fancy.

Kura 4

3.       Enjoy whatever you grabbed!

Kura 5

If there is nothing on the conveyor belt that you like, just utilize the touch screen to order anything on the menu and it will come sailing by in a few minutes. My top three favorite sushi’s are: Inari, Ebi Avocado, and Hamburger. (Definatelynot traditional sushi)

Kura 7

True with fast food and internet dating, the photograph over flatters reality. But it still tastes good!

Kura 6

If you are able to wait long enough for a table you get to play a game… for every five plates you turn in you get a chance to win a prize. A roulette will spin on the touch menu. If you win, a small and crappy capsule toy will pop out.  But as you can clearly read, counter seats are unable to play.

Kura 8

It’s not all Japanese fish food. For dessert you can finish up with a nice slice of cake. Which by the way, is not a lie.

Kura 9

(Hey, I like Hot Pockets!)

Restaurant review Sagamiya (Repost from old blog September 18, 2009)

For a quick snack, protein and cholesterol boost; I like to go down to the Yakitori stand “Sagamiya.” It is located in downtown Yokosuka across the street from T.G.I. Fridays. The outdoor stand is on a small side ally that makes you feel shady eating outdoor meat in between the downtown buildings.

Sagamiya 1

I like to call this place “Trogdor Yakitori”. Why Trogdor?

Sagamiya2a Sagamiya 2b

Watch out peasants! It’s delicious (oishii)!

Sagamiya 3

Sagamiya 4

This is how it works…

Sagamiya 5

And this is the result…

Sagamiya 6

Sagamiya 7

Sagamiya is a good stop for a quick, warm, and easy snack. Sure it isn’t a full meal and the cuts of meat sound dubious (Chicken ball?? What the hell is that?!), but I like it. Burninate on!

Restaurant review Akaoni (Repost from old blog September 16, 2009)

Akaoni (Japanese for a mythical red devil) is the newest Japanese buffet in Yokosuka. It is located on the 6th floor of the same building with All Days 24 hour Diner, right past pepper lunch and Mr. Donut in Downtown. I came across the joint by the big sign on the sidewalk.

 Akaoni sidewalk sign

This sign was big and had the right kind of food photos that made me craved them. So we went upstairs up 6 floors and were greeted by the double glass doors to the lobby.

Glass doors to the lobby

The lobby was decorated with many striking Japanese flower arrangements. The flowers are for the stores new opening.

 

Flower set 1

Flower Set 2


The was no wait, in fact there was a only a few groups of people there. But the room looked like it could serve 150-225 people. The restaurant was very clean. I could tell it was new. We were seated and the young waitress clicked on the gas. The grill and boiling pot of water built right into the table came to life.

And with that, the time for us had started (You can get all you can eat for 60 or 90 minutes in this restaurant). So we dashed to load our trays and sample the variety. The sign boasting 100 different items was right. The variety was awesome.  Many different kinds of fresh fruits and veggies, along with a freezer wall of meat a soup and curry station, a salad bar, ice cream freezer, a cake stand, and of course a chocolate fountain.

(Note: I was not allowed to take photos of the things not on my table.)

Plates of food

Meat on the grill

The grill was hot and the food cooked quickly. Good thing too with only 60 minutes to do damage.

Shrimp 1

Shrimp 2

The food was very good. And the best think is that you can make it how you like; well-done, raw, grilled, boiled, spiced, or plain.

Over all we enjoyed the food and the restaurant and would recommend our friends to go with us. Welcome to Yokosuka!

Price list:

90 minutes                           60 minutes

  • Man        2362          Man        1314
  • Woman  2290          Woman   1219
  • Child       1219          Child        645