Matcha Green Tea
Salmon skin salad
Tuna Belly Steak
Mushroom Zosui porridge
Ten zaru soba with tempura
Tororo Udon with grated mountain yam
Located just off Spring Mountain Road, cattycorner to Kuma Snow Cream, it was as part of a group of seven that a baker’s dozen plates were ordered amidst the cozy confines of Izakaya Go and although palates I trust have recently offered the freshly opened space high commendations, our experience would prove to be just short of a disaster – the sort of meal that left one wondering how anyone could find such a place palatable, let alone worthy of praise.
Admittedly jam-packed, each seat in the house filled at the time of a 7:30 arrival, it was with advanced reservations that the group squeezed into a makeshift table best appointed for six, and with Izzy and Katie playing a bit too loudly from behind the bar a large menu was surveyed as water and hot tea were filled freely – the restaurant fresh out of green, but offering matcha or black over ice at $2.50 per glass.
Optimizing orders so as to cover a large swath of Izakaya Go’s offerings it would not be long before first plates arrive and with creamy balls of fried octopus beneath bonito setting an extremely high bar it was unfortunate that no other plate would even come close to the quality of those tender fried orbs – least of all the grilled collar of tuna that was essentially charred dry leaving one to wonder whether the kitchen possessed any skill or integrity at all.
Essentially ruining a unagi bowl by burying the eel under too sweet a sauce over dried out rice one could say that the crispy salmon skin atop greens mixed with more bonito was the star of round two and with two small bowls of miso soup no better or worse than any other the box-sushi battera was additionally quite good, the savory smack of mackerel finding balance in vinegar and shiso, both.
Admittedly impressed by lightly fried agedashi tofu in more of the miso broth, but less so by fried chicken that was nearly as much batter as bird, it was onward to par-for-the-course egg custard that the meal progressed and with the previously forgotten tuna belly arriving with texture similar to the collar at the meal’s beginning a single bite was more than enough for most – nearly half of the $12 order remaining on the table at meal’s end.
Rounding out the evening in three bowls, the soba literally flavorless even when dipped in dressing while tempura served alongside was fairly competent and entirely full of grease, it was only at the meals end that both the mushroom porridge and hot udon topped with sticky yam would approach the level of the Takoyaki, but at this point bored with belabored service and annoyed by so much mediocrity all one really wanted to do was ‘go.’
TWO STARS: Perhaps suffering from high praise begetting a full house, maybe besmirched by a grill burning too hot, or – and I hope not – possibly deeming our table expendable as we were the only Caucasians in house the only real positive of dinner at Izakaya Go was the friends involved and $30/pp price – nothing save for the Takoyaki better than can be found elsewhere on Spring Mountain without the pop music, sub-par service, or overall lack of quality control.
RECOMMENDED: Takoyaki, Tororo Udon, Agedashi Tofu
AVOID: Anything Grilled, $2.50 per glass cold tea, Ten Zaru Soba
TIP: Closed on Sunday and open from 5:00pm until 2:00am or later the rest of the week, reservations recommended on Fridays and Saturdays during peak times.