Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ootoya again

Today was my last official day of work at Pace. It feels so weird, especially since it's where I've been for most of my post-college life now, but I'm also ready to try something new, whatever that happens to be (seriously, anybody got any ideas?). Plus that means that we finally finished the Arturo Herrera project! So that's something to celebrate. Anyway, since we're in the Thanksgiving spirit and everything, I have to say that I've been super lucky in more than a few ways to have ended up working there. I can't imagine having spent the past year in any other way, and I am going to miss everybody too much. And not just the people in the studio or on the 5th floor, but the cleaning lady who gives me hugs, Dick the doorman, the guys at A.I. Friedman who make the same awkward "you guys still working on that project" joke, that guy who maybe works at Adorrama and wears a blue silk shirt every time I see him, even the lady from the architects' office who talks loudly on the phone while she is on the toilet, I'm sure I'll miss her in a weird way too. Obviously I don't like saying good bye. But whatever, I'll be back there in like a week for Kathy's retirement party and I'll get sappy all over again, so I better not waste it all here.

 Kaasan Ni from the "Simmered & Hot Pot" of the menu 

I went to Ootoya on Monday with some work pals, and it was so nice. We sat in the upper area and I had a clear view of what everyone at the bar was eating. I spied two guys eating this and looking really pleased, so I ordered it. 

I have no idea what "kaasan ni" means but I'll now always assume it means heavenly, warm deliciousness. If you wanna get technical, it was deep fried chicken topped with a soft boiled egg (oh my god) and grated radish served in a soy sauce infused broth. This was a really excellent decision. If anything, it was a little too salty at the end, but only because the portions were huge and I ate almost all of it. I guess that's why there's so much grated radish, it adds a nice spicy bite to the fried chicken. The fried chicken isn't crunchy though, obviously. But since its swimming in that amazing broth, it becomes this very moist, flavorful piece of meat that falls apart in the best way that chicken meat can. And plus the egg yolk! I usually get weirded out by chicken-egg combos, but Japanese food always gets that right. The egg is so creamy and rich and adds this whole new layer of flavor and texture to the broth and chicken. I loved it.

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