A slice of Japan right in Olympia
Hannah Gabel, Staff Writer
Named after one of the famous port cities in Japan, the Osaka restaurant serves everything authentic from fresh sushi to fried pork bowls and yakisoba. The restaurant has been offering its delicious main courses for well over 20 years and is located in Olympia just off Martin Way.
The quaint restaurant is family-owned and operated with fully-trained and experienced sushi chefs working to provide the highest quality food.
The restaurant pays homage to its namesake, city of Osaka, Japan. The city opens up to a large bay, provides plenty of seafood, and thus the development of sushi over many years. Osaka has been known for being “the food capital of the world,” for its exquisite and unique cuisine, such as udon, a type of noodle dish served commonly as a soup, takoyaki, a fried octopus dish, and oshizushi, a pressed sushi dish.
The restaurant even loosely resembles much of Osaka’s traditional architecture and design, and with the low-thatched, wooden roof, the Osaka restaurant is a simple one-story structure that has a delicate and welcoming interior. The inside is decorated with soft browns and beiges, bamboo accents, soft lighting, and shoji rice paper window shades. The walls are decorated lightly with traditional style drawings and paintings depicting various foods and teas, as well as other themes. The restaurant provides a relaxing atmosphere with its gentle use of colors and lightings.
Sushi is the most popular item at the Osaka restaurant, and they certainly advertise for it.
Sushi has a longstanding history deep within not only Japanese culture, but also in Chinese culture. Sushi was believed to have been invented in ancient China when people would wrap fish up in rice to help preserve it longer. The method spread to Japan in only a matter of time, as fish is a huge staple food there as well. The Japanese took it further and began to make more intricate dishes with various seafood and rice. They created something called “nigiri sushi,” meaning finger sushi, where an oblong piece of fish is laid out over rice. There are also other, more modern forms of sushi like sushi rolls, where seafood, vegetables, and rice are wrapped up in a piece of seaweed. Sushi has had a sizeable influence on the food world and many other cultures seem to perform their own twist on the traditional dish. The Osaka Restaurant works to balance the modern and traditional aspects, creating a unique variety of various sushi dishes in many forms, from popular modern rolls to more traditional nigiri sushi.
The Brink family first discovered the restaurant many years ago with Breanna’s grandma introducing them to the place, wanting to try the food out of curiosity. She described, “My grandma’s adventurous and willing to try stuff, including hole-in-the-wall Japanese places.” Ever since that first introduction to the restaurant, Brink and her family have been visiting the restaurant for a long time, frequenting the sushi bar mainly and appreciating the originality of the dishes. They far prefer this over most other Japanese restaurants and believe they will continue going there for a long time yet.
The Osaka is a one-of-a-kind type of restaurant. With traditional food, hints of modernity, and a flair of Japan, it offers a welcoming and unique experience that is bound to be a pleasant one. The staff are friendly, the mood is relaxing and the menu is large. With so many options to choose from and foods to try, it is a great place for anyone with a large and adventurous appetite. The dishes are rather affordable as well, most ranging from six to 10 dollars during lunch, and ten to 15 dollars for dinner, with the inclusions of multiple extra sides per dish. Once you start going there you’ll never want to stop.
The Osaka restaurant is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m.-10 p.m. and can be reached at (360) 413-3911.