Hakatamon Lunch   Leave a comment

I've never minded tofu. In Indian curries, floating in bubbling Korean soup, stir fried in Thai and Chinese dishes, in a tofu scramble or veggie shepard's pie or a tostada, it just absorbs the flavor of the rest of the dish but presents an interesting texture. I'm a big fan of firm tofu, but in soups having it medium or silken is fine too- and I had no issue with it at LA's Tofu Festival.

When I was at Hakatamon's yesterday though, tofu was not only the main component, but the flavor profile. Their hiya yako appetizer is just homemade tofu with bonito shavings and scallion and ginger – and I actually found myself pushing the bonito shavings out of the way and just enjoying the clean taste of the tofu itself, and I didn't use any sauce either. The texture is extremely firm- almost like a tortilla espanola. It was a great counterpoint as I was sipping broth from my entree and waiting for it to cool enough to eat. So much better then the normal tofu appetizer of agedashi tofu- not only health wise, but because you can really appreciate the tofu instead of it being a sponge for sauce. 

For my entree I had the ramen. It was a great ramen dish, but I have to say, I am ruined for good ramen dishes because my sisters have taken me an incredible ramen place one in LA's Daikokuya. This broth here at Hakatamon is still super delicious, and without all the fat at the one at Daikokuya there kotteri style (a broth with back fat…). The noodles can't compare, but the pork here at Hakatamon just melted in my mouth so I think was superior to my experience at Daikokuya. And you know, is here in Portland instead of in Little Tokyo in California, and Hakatamon is much more approachable and low key- when we came in for lunch there was only one other table occupied and the vibe was clean and low-key, unlike Daikokuya's sign in sheet and ramen bar.

Onigiri never ceases to make me giggle at its cuteness

Next time I visit, hopefully I can try their sashimi- I was really torn as I read the menu, but figured that since it's January I would go for the warm comfort food this time as I have lots of nice weather coming up to enjoy sashimi!


Posted January 22, 2010 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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