I really have been insanely busy these past few months, I forgot that I had a blog! :P
With a new job, a new house, and a new commitment to healthful living, I feel so much better about life in general. And you know what? I find myself eating out less and less. Those places I used to drive close to an hour to get to for dinner? I live only about 15 min from them now, but I cook at home most nights. My mindset on dining out has shifted; from dining out as an escape to forget my daily to stress, I eat out at restaurants only to celebrate and reconnect with friends. I have a sneaking suspicion that once I move to my new house and end this cave-like temporary apartment life, I'll be inviting friends over more and maybe eating out even less!
So, why the sudden change of routine in my dining habits? I really don't know. All of a sudden, I find myself preferring to stay home on most nights when it's just me and the Papa Bear. Driving even the 15 min to a restaurant becomes too much of a hassle. Why not just fix something up at home? The izakaya-style restaurants that used to be staples of my dining out selection have all but disappeared from our routine. (My izakaya-dishes have improved drastically over the past few months, and I hope to share some of my recipes here soon.) Even my sushi stops have been replaced by chirashi and temaki sushi at home. We only stop over at Sushi Yoshi these days, really more to say hi to Yoshi-san and his wife, Mari-san.
One of the only places that remains on my frequently visited list is Sumiya for yakitori - one of the only shops open at 11 PM when I get out of work late. They really are a savior on those nights, especially since they are located right down the street from my company. I sure am a lucky girl with this new job! :) They have steadily improved their skewers and their menu over the last year to blossom into a lively, fun restaurant that is a true gem. I'm going to have to do an update on them soon to recap all the love I feel for this place!
That brings up another point. I stopped blogging for a long while, since I just couldn't feel comfortable about writing about restaurants for a while. I started out blogging because I just wanted to talk about food, especially Japanese food to share my culture and my background, maybe translate some phrases and introduce some new ingredients. I didn't have a clear policy on what to write and what not to write, because frankly, I just wanted to write about what I like and don't like about food! But my not having a clear policy led me to murky territory of 'am I shilling for friendly restaurants?', 'what if I want to say something negative about a place I used to like - how should I update the information?', 'wait, I haven't been to Restaurant So-and-So in so long, should I revise the info?', etc, etc. It was just too much for me when the going was rough with work.
I am still working the kinks of what I want to write about these days, but I do know that I still want to share some of the epicurean delights in my life. I think I will start back slowly with a few dishes from my nightly izakaya-style banshaku (sake sipping and nibbling) at home and see where it takes me.
If anyone besides the Papa, Uchipu, and Yamo are still here, thank you for your patience. I plan to be back on at least a bi-weekly basis!