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November 30, 2006
From journal Sushi in Bellingham
June 9, 2005
While I can’t recommend a single Chinese restaurant in Bellingham, I think we have several excellent Thai and Japanese options. The top option for Japanese is Osaka.
The service is friendly and efficient; the portions are enormous; both the regular and sushi menus are extensive; and the food is well-prepared. But the main reason Osaka is my favorite is that, in addition to all the other things you expect from a good restaurant, it has the most serene and relaxing atmosphere allowing me to really enjoy the meal.
Ninety percent of the time, I order one of two dishes, spicy tofu stir-fry or the tempura/teriyaki combo, and have never been disappointed. The magical powers of the spicy tofu stir-fry can be seen in the fact that my boyfriend, the meat-eater from Texas, has been known to order it on occasion – four stars, of course. I am a yam fan, and their sweet potato tempura is my second favorite food, after Tulio’s sweet potato gnocchi, naturally. Their tempura is always light and never greasy, while the veggies are always firm. The beef teriyaki is substantial and tender, but the sauce might be too heavy for some.
Mike’s order is either wholly or in part made up of sushi. There are about 50 items to choose from. Although he always orders the maguro, he has tried 10 other items and found them all to be fresh and tasty. More often than not, he orders the spicy tuna roll as a side with the spicy tofu stir-fry and has enough left over for a doggie bag.
The restaurant is small - only about 14 tables and 2 tatami rooms. The parking is smaller, only about 12 spaces. They probably could have added more spaces, but they chose instead to build a lovely Japanese garden in the back. It’s nice for a quick stroll after dinner or if you have to wait for a table.
Osaka is restaurant-style comfort food. It may not be destination dining, but if you’re here and craving Japanese food, it is definitely a safe bet.
From journal Bellingham, on the way to somewhere else