Thanks to recent press, and their relationship with the sustainable fish distribution company Two X Sea, Nojo has been on my radar as a restaurant to visit for a while. I was finally able to visit earlier this week to photograph some of the pairings between their unique dishes and both Lucky Hand beers.
Nojo has a great story, and is meant to be "a unique neighborhood restaurant specializing in Japanese style skewers and pub food." The word 'nojo' itself means 'farm'... the restaurant emphasizes local, seasonal, and sustainably produced food. They also utilize MANY different parts of the meats they serve. This week, Lucky Hand Black Lager has been paired with a Salad of Beef Tendon, Radishes, Daikon Sprouts, Mung Beans & Kansuri Vinaigrette. I will admit, hearing "beef tendon" threw me, but I like to think of myself as an adventurous eater, so I went for it... and I was amazed. I was worried about the texture. Would it be tough? Chewy? Some other weird consistency I hadn't considered? But it was really like eating a delicious noodle salad. It was probably one of my favorite dishes we sampled.
Speaking of parts I don't normally see on a menu, we also tried duck neck, gizzards, and tongues. This is the kind of eating experience I seriously enjoy and will be back for... a chance to try something new, different, maybe slightly bizarre, but ultimately awesome and delicious.
In my mind Japanese food has pretty much become synonymous with sushi, udon noodles, and tempura. This is unfortunate because, clearly, there is a LOT more to explore. Left: Fried Potatoes, Tonkatsu Sauce, Scallions, Mayonnaise & Shaved Katsuo Bushi. Right: Tsukune, Egg Yolk Sauce (chicken).
Left: Lucky Hand Black Lager. Right: The infamous (at least in my mind) Beef Tendon Salad.