Obscure Pleasure

Food for Thought @ Cho-Ko

Sometimes, when I’m hungry, some restaurant pops into my head and I don’t know why. Because I can’t think of a valid reason, I don’t recommend it to others. It’s sort of like “guilty pleasure” but not exactly. With guilty pleasure, you know it’s bad, but something within yourself is helplessly drawn to it. That is not what I’m talking about.

Perhaps I can call it “obscure pleasure.” I assume others wouldn’t appreciate it because what is required to appreciate it is too obscure. Let me give you an extreme example so that you understand what I mean.

Imagine yourself on another planet where the people know nothing about the earth. They don’t “eat” anything; they simply connect a tube to the back of their necks, as if they are getting filled up at a gas station. You thought you were the only earthling on this planet but, one day, you come across a restaurant owned by another earthling who serves the food you grew up eating. You walk in and there are no other customers, but the food is authentic, just as you remember it from the earth. You feel like you came back home. When you walk out of that restaurant, you are not going to rave about the place to others. Why not? Because you know nobody would be able to relate to your sentiment.

As I said, this is an extreme example but this is the sentiment I have for this Japanese restaurant. Everything I had so far tasted like something my mom would make. I don’t actually know if the chef is Japanese, but the food sure tastes like Japanese home-cooking. Some Yelp reviewers said the man who attends the front is Chinese and his wife is Japanese who is the chef. I haven’t been able to confirm it because I never hear them talk, and I haven’t seen the chef. But my wife did confirm the existence of the chef, and she said the chef did act like my mom when she asked where the bathroom was. That is, she didn’t just point to it but escorted her to it. They always play golden oldies through a cheap speaker, which makes me imagine a restaurant in post-war Japan serving American soldiers.

Hopefully, there are enough people who appreciate the charm of this place, so they stay in business for a long time.