Dan Izakaya has always been on my radar, but I never had a reason to head to that part of San Jose until on Saturday in August. Lots of other people seemed to also be in the area because there were quite a few people waiting to get into the small restaurant for lunch:
The wait was actually good, because it gave my Ahyi time to arrive.
When our name was called, we were led to the back of the restaurant where we seated at a tatami table. Score!
All of the lunch entrees came with salad and miso soup:
My ahyi ordered the sashimi salad lunch set ($13.75):
She graciously let me have the rice ball that came with it:
You get to choose the filling and I went with spicy cod roe. The disappointment was real when the rice ball came. I was expecting a yaki onigiri (grilled rice ball) and not a regular one, which is nowhere as exciting. I need to learn to ask more questions before ordering. Sigh.
I was, however, very satisfied with my uni ikura don ($17.50):
You just can't go wrong with fresh uni and salmon roe over rice with a soft boiled egg. So creamy. So smooth. So simple, yet so FREAKIN DELICIOUS.
My mother got the oyako don ($9.95):
"Oyako" is Japanese for "parent and child", which is why the oyako don is made with chicken and egg.
My father always gets chiashi ($17) when it's an option:
From our table, we could look into the kitchen where we saw multiple staff members wearing aprons that had "Tanto" printed on them. This made us wonder whether Dan is related to Tanto, which is my favorite Japanese restaurant. A little bit of Internet research revealed that Dan used to be called Tanto San Jose and that there seems to be no affiliation between the two.
Dan was good, but it wasn't able to topple Tanto from my favorite Japanese restaurant spot. Sorry, Dan. But I'm open to giving Dan another chance, this time at dinnertime. I have the impression that Dan has more to offer.
Next time around, I'll definitely make sure to get the yaki onigiri.
Dan Izakaya Restaurant
1306 Saratoga Ave
San Jose, CA 95129