Wa OKAN (Kearny Mesa)
Wa OKAN is actually located near where I live, and I often pass by it, but I have only eaten there once for dinner. I didn’t even know they offer a more affordable menu for lunch until Michael and Darren took me there. I was so excited to try their lunch set.
According to Michael and Darren, their lunch menu has actually expanded. It took a while for us to finally decide what we were going to order. They have a variety of choices, cold and hot soba and udon, small rice bowls, and up to 12 different entrees.
The space in the restaurant is quite small, yet it is warm and comfy, which matches their vision to want their customers to feel like “home”. Because it was small, the server paid good attention to customers. Our server came to check on us a few times during the meal to take care of our needs, and she was friendly and polite, unlike other pushy, unfriendly servers I have encountered from time to time.
This is how their lunch set looks like. It was no trick at all. A big bowl of miso soup, a big bowl of rice (white/wheat), two tapas with pickles and the entree. Let me show you:
Besides the regular ingredients, tofu, seaweed, onion and green onion at other restaurant, there were also carrots, cabbage, shiitake and some other ingredients I don’t remember in their miso soup. It was like a Japanese style vegetable soup, healthy and yummy.
The two tapas and pickles were a lot more than expected (in a good way). From right to the left were Chikuwa, carrots, and seaweed strands, beef with tofu and vegetables, and pickles with fresh carrots and cucumber. The first tapa tasted fresh and appetizing, and I like seaweed. The second tapa was my favorite, as it had a deep miso flavor, and I really hate eating dry meat, but the beef with the vegetables together were moist and tasty.
Michael ordered the “Okan Style” sweet and sour pork. He said it tasted like normal sweet and sour pork, which was kind of disappointing, because when we saw “Okan Style”, we thought it would taste different and special as it would be cooked in a different style than we weren’t accustomed to.
Darren ordered Fried Chicken with green onion sauce. He said it was good, and he likes the sauce and the spices with the chicken. The chicken was fried, but they kept it moist inside. It was a better version of the chicken they might serve at Tea Station or Tapioca Express.
I had the Grilled Salted Beef Tongue. They grilled it with salt in thin slices, and you can season them with lemon juice or Shichimi. You may not have tried beef tongue before, but it was not as bad as you may think. It was a little chewy, but don’t get me wrong, the texture was fine and tender, and you wouldn’t think it was disgusting at all if you didn’t know it was tongue.
I’m glad that we came here for lunch after all. This would go into my “where-to-lunch-on-a-lazy-day” list. If you haven’t tried their lunch, or were not aware of their current menu, come down to enjoy a satisfying Japanese lunch with a big bowl of rice, soup, great tapas and a variety of entrees.
Wa Dinning OKAN
3860 Convoy Street,
San Diego, CA 92111