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Kibbee Nayee

Osaka, Sushi Behind Springfield Mall - Japanese on Loisdale Road with Happy Hour Pricing - Closed

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I had been in Osaka a few times in the past. It's a few doors down from Thai Cafe, which is in the Dining Guide, but I was surprised that Osaka was not in the Dining Guide. I actually was aiming for Thai Cafe but girlfriend did a last-second vector to Osaka, and it was worth the detour.

Girlfriend and I had a very pleasant dinner at Osaka tonight. We ordered liberally throughout the sushi menu, with plenty of nigiri, including medium fatty tuna as well as salmon belly, and three rolls -- spicy tuna, crunchy real crab and avocado and eel. Among the nigiri was plenty of tuna, salmon, white tuna, yellowtail, eel, salmon roe and quail egg. There appears to be some kind of all day 'happy hour' going on during the weekends and a few other days of the week, so the pieces were nicely priced, albeit a bit small. Tuna, for example, priced for one piece per order was $1.95, so two pieces at $3.90 isn't bad. The one piece per order concept threw me off a bit, but we had more than enough food between us.

The fish was uniformly fresh and colorful, almost glistening, and as good as sushi gets in the general Springfield-Franconia-Lorton-Burke area. A full carafe of wine, priced at about $27.00, along with all the sushi we could handle, plus miso soup and salad for two, plus tax and tip, came to just under $100. I will return.

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Osaka continues to impress me. We had 3 different rolls yesterday -- spicy salmon, rainbow and one other (memory lapse) -- and lots of nigiri. Everything was extremely fresh. The toro was on special for $3.50 each, two pieces for $7.00. Oh yeah, they charge by the single piece for nigiri, but it's still a pretty good deal. This is not high-end sushi, but in the general geographical region bounded by Blue Ocean in Fairfax and Akasaka in Alexandria, Osaka is the best of the rest.

A few other observations -- the menu is interesting enough to draw me here to taste the non-sushi portion dishes and see how the kitchen prepares exercises its repertoire -- the decor is nicely muted, with wallpaper that could have been your grandmother's -- happy hour is from 4:30 to 6:30 and beer is 25% off. Here is some of the menu:

http://www.viewmenu....menu?ref=google

[if I was ranking Springfield restuarants in the Dining Guide, I would put Monty's Steakhouse, Gamasot, Osaka, Thai Ghang Waan and Oh Bok Jung in the top 5, in some order that would probably change daily....and I would move San Vito to Burke....just saying....]

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Late lunch this afternoon with my daughter took us to Osaka. Not much more to say about this place -- the wait staff is attentive and helpful, the quality and freshness of the fish is superb, and the rolls are interesting and good, if a touch below Yamazoto in awesomeness. Part of our order was a sashimi special of 12 pieces, and each bite was perfect. For a Japanese menu in the suburbs, I think Osaka holds its own against most of the rest.

(When the Springfield Town Center arises from the ashes of Springfield Mall, Osaka is in for a business boomlet. It will be walking distance from the Springfield Metro, and with all the offices and condos going in all around, this little non-chain restaurant will reel in the more discerning palates.)

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For a Korean Sushi place, it's good.  Next time, try the Korean version of Chirashi.  It's different and really good.

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For a Korean Sushi place, it's good.  Next time, try the Korean version of Chirashi.  It's different and really good.

When you say "the Korean version of Chirashi," do you mean that their dish labeled "Chirashi" is actually a type of Hwe Dup Bap? Or are you referring to something else?

(As a corollary, are you sure that it's Korean-owned Japanese? A high percentage of Japanese restaurants in the Virginia suburbs are, and I've yet to find one that's very good.)

I didn't know that Osaka had been open since 1988.

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When you say "the Korean version of Chirashi," do you mean that their dish labeled "Chirashi" is actually a type of Hwe Dup Bap? Or are you referring to something else?

(As a corollary, are you sure that it's Korean-owned Japanese? A high percentage of Japanese restaurants in the Virginia suburbs are, and I've yet to find one that's very good.)

I didn't know that Osaka had been open since 1988.

The last time I was there (albeit it was a while ago), they were serving the Korean version of Chirashi (hwe dup bap) which has lettuce as well as rice in the bowl, the whole dressed with whatever amount of red pepper paste you'd like to apply (as opposed to wasabi).  The rice is served 'on the side' and you add as much or little as you prefer.  Stir, add pepper paste, dig in.

It's definitely Korean owned unless everyone in the front of the house is Japanese and speaks fluent Hangul.

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