There’s a new Japanese restaurant on Castro Street and it’s different from all the other Japanese restaurants in town. It’s an “izakaya” or more of a drinking establishment that has really great food, small plates, to go along with your drinks. Bushido Izakaya had their ribbon cutting and grand opening this week. The opening evening was beautiful and this place is sure to be a favorite of Mountain View residents. The menu items are all ‘small plates.’ I asked if there are any items might not be familiar to customers and the manager, Hien Tran, pointed out a few favorites that must be tried: Mochi and Cheese Okonomiyaki, the Chawan Mushi, and the Mabo Ramen. I must say, I had plenty of the Yaki Tori, or skewered salmon and chicken. They have their own smoker in the kitchen, so the smoked items are fabulous.
One of the first things that I noticed about Bushido Izakaya was the décor. It’s way more hip than most Japanese restaurants. The walls are a dark wood, there are interesting little lanterns around and screens hanging to divide the space. It feels special like some thought was put into creating an inviting atmosphere and the focus wasn’t all on the food. It’s even rather sexy feeling. Can I say that about a restaurant? A sexy restaurant? Yes. I can say it.
And you can’t possibly discuss a drinking establishment with out mentioning the drinks. First of all, the bartender’s name is Sam. It’s always good to know that detail! He is working on creating signature drinks that will be unveiled when Bushido Izakaya launches their Happy Hour in a few weeks. Right now there are some original creations coming from the bar, but there will be more in the future. One of the items that I found most interesting in the bar is the Zipang. It’s a Sparkling Sake. It’s crisp and sweet on its own, but it also an ingredient is some of the mixed drinks. I also tried the Satuma Song and the Anna Mojito.
Since I was at the restaurant for the official ribbon cutting ceremony, there were some city officials and the Chamber of Commerce offering good wishes to Bushido Izakaya and talking about how far Mountain View has come in recent years. We’re such a diverse city and that diversity is reflected in our cuisine choices. We have almost every imaginable cuisine right within our city limits and all kinds of cutting edge technology. We’re not just the heart of the Silicon Valley, but it seems to me that we might be leaders in the food industry. I walked away from the event feeling honored to be part of this amazing city where so many different kinds of people have come together and we all call Mountain View “home.”