Normally a sushi bar is a great place for a Solo diner to sit. Lots to watch, interaction with the sushi chef, fresh fish in the chiller right in front of you, but not at Osaka. Although I went early to avid the crush on a weekend night, and made a reservation in advance, the hostess sat me in a very poor location on the bar where I was constantly jostled by the wait staff. I asked to be moved over one seat, but was told (and I speak Spanish) that it was reserved for parties of two or more. I was not the only Solo at the bar, there was another man around the corner from me whom I observed as the evening progressed.
First off, you cannot order from the sushi chef, you have a waiter who takes all your orders and brings you everything, but is also responsible for table in that section so service for a SOLO at the bar is very slow. He made recommendations of the most expensive things on the menu and even though I’m from Hawai‘i and very familiar with Japanese food, he pushed me toward his suggestions. I could not be sure if it was a Macho thing or just working toward a large bill. The person who was helpful and kind was the bus girl who told me it was her first day and hoped her service was OK. She was terrific. In any case I had three appetizer dishes and was still hungry so ordered two nigeri - was still hungry, but asked for the bill. Including “house” small saki my bill was over $200 US. When he presented the check. He said, you know the tip is not included.” And when he picked up my credit card he said it again. As I left I walked over to give the bus girl a tip of appreciation and the waiter actually stepped in front of her with a big smile and his hand out. I smiled and moved around him to the woman who had given me such good service. I hope, given that it was her first day that he did not act against her.
I feel there must be a Japanese restaurant in BA with good fresh fish and service but it’s not Osaka. Friends told me later that its more a place to be seen . . .
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