On the Bridge specializes in yoshoku cuisine. Yoshoku Cuisine is the Japanese take on Western Cuisine with Italian and American influences. It is not traditional Japanese cuisine although Japanese-style yoshoku has been around for over a century. Think spaghetti with seaweed and fish roe, okonomi-yaki pizza, loco moco, calamari-kimchi pasta, sizzling platters and more traditional ones like katsu, curries, don, etc.
I have passed by this restaurant for over a decade but honestly, the menu did not appeal to me. Boy, I was so wrong! After watching Jurassic World (which was fantastic by the way!) at our favorite movie theatre just a block away, the BF and I looked for a place to eat. He did not want to drive somewhere else and every place we wanted to eat at was fully-booked. And he did not really have an appetite for Asian food at the moment.
No Japanese food – what the heck would we eat in Japantown?! We walked by On The Bridge and saw loco moco and sizzling platters on the menu. Okay, that is more his style. I was a little unsure when we walked into the small, funky yet cute place. Manga comics lined the walls and an anime movie was playing on the screen.
We ordered the following:
- Pineapple-Hi $5.50: Remember that I just had Lychee-Tini at Pa’ina before going to the movies and it did not give me a buzz? I do not know what was in this drink but this $5 cocktail gave me a nice happy one!
- Fried Garlic Potatoes $3.75 as our appetizer
- Loco Moco $11.25: (hamburger with fried egg on top over rice) for the BF
- Seafood Curry with Rice for me $12.75: Second order of rice was on the house and was plentiful.
The BF and I liked the food. The fried potatoes were nice and garlicky. I really also liked the seafood curry that I asked for a second order of rice which turned out to be on the house. I am have not had eaten many Japanese curries but OTB had a nice layer of spices. I was given an option to choose the level of my curry’s spiciness. Our server suggested XXspicy which had a good kick but I will choose the XXXX next time! The BF also enjoyed his loco moco.
What really stood out was the service. We have had our share of fine dining and hole-in-the-wall experiences but the service we received at On The Bridge was the one we will remember the most. Our server was the daughter of the owner. She told us about the history of On The Bridge which has been with the family for 24 years. The dad is Japanese while the mom is from El Salvador. She was born in San Francisco and considers On The Bridge her second home. She talked about college life and how much she is looking forward to going back to Tokyo to see her cousins. She also told us that her dad makes the hamburger with his own recipe that takes him 14 hours to make. She spoke about her parents proudly and fondly.
The BF and I really enjoyed the genuinely nice service we received from her and this is on a Saturday night for a college girl who should be out partying!
I will definitely be back whenever I am in Japan Town and when in need of yummy Western Japanese comfort food. Value is also great.
$51 including 1 soda and generous tip
DATE NIGHT: 07.11.15