((xposted from my own LJ))
We ended up going to Misai up on 32nd ave NE. I've gone there for lunch a few times back in the day, and decided to try it out for dinner. They didn't disappoint. (I was also feeling way too lazy to fight my way to one of my usual haunts.)
Some rolls to start, nothing fancy... just california roll and spicy tuna roll for me, and shiitake roll for Juli. Well formed, fresh and flavourful ingredients, good rice-fu.
The main meal was some beef yakisoba for Juli, and tonkotsu ramen for me. Juli was a little weirded out by the katsuobushi on the yakisoba... I couldn't quite remember what it was, so I looked it up today. Its a type of dried tuna sliced thinner than paper, and sprinkled on a dish. The heat from the food causes the flakes-o-fish to expand and contract, and make the food look like its..well.. fluttering.
Once the errant fish decided to settle down, and Juli no longer looked like she needed to pull a beating implement out of hammer-space and subdue her meal, she tucked in, and pronounced it tasty. I think they used five-spice on the beef, which definitely added an extra dimension that isn't found on most yakisoba.
I tucked into my Tonkotsu, and really, Misai does some excellent ramen. The noodles weren't overcooked, the broth was flavourful without being heavy or greasy (amazing for a pork broth), the meat threatened to fall apart on my chopsticks, the veggies and seaweed were in a good state of balance, and the egg wasn't overboiled (happens a lot with that type of ramen)
Not the cheapest place to eat japanese, but certainly reasonable. The only negative mark I can make about the place is that it seemed to take forever to get the bill, odd as it wasn't that busy last night. They could be understaffed, or it could have been something else. Its Calgary. To expect great service in this market is..well.. a pipe dream at worst, a pleasant surprise at best.
Some time when I feel like drinking, I might have to indulge in some shochu
at Misai as well. I don't see a lot of shochu on the menus of japanese places around town, and its been years since I had it last.