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Monday, May 5, 2008

On Japanese Food and Fish

Otafuku, East 9th Street
Photo by myself on East 9th Street and Second Avenue.

Otafuku, a tiny Japanese eatery, is a standing-room only gem. There are two cooks crammed in the front, who cook pancakes or octopus fritters. The dishes are piled high with fish flakes, mayonnaise, seasonings and dried seaweed.

People will stand outside in the wintry cold to eat this stuff, it is that delectable.

I love it, I love it, I love it.


Today Mark and I moved the last of his things from Greenpoint, his old neighborhood, to Park Slope, Brooklyn.

It happens every month - you see moving trucks all over the place. People are moving to and fro. The last couple months, we've been making little trips back and forth. Today was the last of it.

Most importantly, this morning we drove up early to get Mark's fish. Geared up with two large beverage coolers to transport them and their fish water, we looked like EMS workers ready to perform an organ transplant.

Getting the fellas (there are several little ones) and the water into the coolers was no problem. The stones, fake plants, and equipment came along too. We gingerly placed everything in the back of Clive, Mark's Mini Cooper, leaving the fish until the last possible minute. A lid covered the cooler so the water wouldn't splash out.

Then we were off. We soon discovered that many of Greenpoint's streets were closed off because of the Five-Boro Bike Tour. Thousands of cyclists biked through all five boroughs, starting in Battery Park City and ending in Staten Island.

The police had blocked many of the streets with wooden sawhorses, and there were no signs directing anyone. I could hear the water sloshing around as we tried to figure a way out of Greenpoint.

Eventually, we made it out (yay!), taking several detours and back roads. In the end, fish, water and equipment were delivered and re-installed intact. The fellas are now swimming around quite gaily in their tank, as if nothing happened.

Note to everyone - if you're planning a move, check whether parades or races are going on.


Anonymous said...

I like most Japanese food and their hot noodles sold in tiny shacks on the streets in cities in Japan are my favorite.

This is almost a perfect reminder of those stalls except over there they had bicycle wheels so they could be moved here and there.

Kitty said...

Hi Mr Lincoln
Any kind of street food is bound to be good. I'd love to see Japan someday.

Janet Kincaid said...

I miss really good Japanese food. Every time I go home to California it and Thai food are on my list of must-eats while I'm there. I should get the $30 Chinatown bus to NY one day and enjoy some good Asian food for a change.

Anonymous said...

I love Japanese food! I can eat it for all 3 meals in a day, lol!

Back to the topic of parades, I was stuck on 5th Ave when the annual Puerto Rican Parade was on last year. I will never forget having to walk over 20 blocks, including a detour into Central Park, just to get to the nearest subway!

Gudl said...

I found your blog via Olivier's .
I just wanted to tell you that I LOVE your profile picture ;-)

Olivier said...

Greenpoint est vraiment un superbe quartier, il faut le visiter. Par contre je suis pas très restaurant japonais
Greenpoint is really a beautiful area, you must visit. By cons I am not very Japanese restaurant

Mom Knows Everything said...

Aurora LOVES sushi, but the smell of it puts me off. We had fish in our tank, but the turtle ate all of them but one.

Anonymous said...

Oh, poor fishies - glad they made it safe and sound!

And congrats on finalizing the move - what a big, happy milestone!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Oooh thanks for the restaurant tip. I've never heard of this place, but I've added it to my list of places to try [seriously I carry around a list ;-)]

Glad the fish made it safely and congrats on moving in together :-)

Kitty said...

Maybe you should open up a good Thai or Japanese restaurant if there isn't one in DC? I bet you'd make a fortune.

I'm the same way. I love Japanese and Korean foods. I have either at least three times a week. I think both are not fattening? (wishful thinking here)

Welcome Gudl
I look forward to reading your blog

Hi Olivier
I can see how Japanese food is not for everyone. I will eat your portion!

Hi Tammy
lol on the fishiness. I'm quite shocked by the turtles!

Thank you Spandrel!

Hi Fish
There are quite a few cute boutiques on East 9th. And there are tons of Japanese places, too.
The are mixed reviews for this place but I've always had yummy experiences

Anonymous said...

MMMMM, Japanese food. So good. I've never had octopus fritters but would love to try them.

Glad you guys got the fish moved safely. It's not easy to move fish...we've done it three times. Thankfully, each time without any problems. The longest distance was from New Orleans to Birmingham. Fun times!

Anonymous said...

Oh, btw..love the photo! It's great!

Anonymous said...

MmMM sounds delish!!

Kitty said...

Wow Tam.
We were so worried about moving the fish, I can't imagine moving them a long distance. Mark had visions of opening the cooler and finding them all belly up.
Great to meet others who keep fish. It's not an easy hobby!

Thanks Jess, you'll have to try it out when you get here!

Ming the Merciless said...

Glad to hear the fish are okay.

Love that Japanese place in the East Village. I love the okinomiyaki with lots of mayo, brown sauce and bonito (tuna) flakes.

Kitty said...

Hi Ming
I sometimes can't choose which one to eat. If I could, I'd eat both!

Y-Maeda said...

Hello nice to meet you.
KO-N-NI-CHI-WA (^_^)v
I am Japanese.
I saw your wonderful site.
Please link to this site !