I grew up eating at a restaurant in SJ Japantown. This past week, through the ever useful; albeit not so efficient family phone tree, I was informed by mom, who was informed by my cousin, who got the message from my uncle that the owners of Okayama had sold their restaurant to new ownership. *GASP* Sadness! I LOVE LOVE LOVE their magic salad dressing. And their teriyaki sauce. And their crisp light tempura.
We’ve been eating there since we moved down from Seattle 24 years ago. Last night was the the Mayeda family’s last day running the place so I gritted my teeth and drove an hour and a half down after work to have my last hurrah of teriyaki ribs there. It turns out that I wasn’t the only one with that idea; all of their old waitresses, long time customers, neighbors all came out in floods to support and say goodbye to them.
A neighboring customer drove 5 hours down from Carson City to get her last meal in. Wow. And I was grumpy having to fight traffic! She made a comment on how the meal was delicious but melancholy; akin to eating at a wake.
To Mr. and Mrs. Mayeda, bottoms up! I hope you enjoy your well deserved retirement; you guys have been a cornerstone in Japantown for so many years and will be sorely sorely missed.