Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Asian Food Weekend, Part 2: Fukuda

Eating a late lunch means a late dinner.  Like, really late.

James and I have quite the preference for Asian food (when we're not eating Hispanic/Latino food, of course) - Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean...they're all fantastic.  However, having GOOD options later in the evening isn't possible.  AND, after a long drive to Golden Pig and getting things done during the day - not to mention taking an unexpected nap - we were still craving Asian food at 11:00 PM.

Step in - Fukuda.  Making the impossible possible.

Fukuda, 1:30 AM 
Located across from West Penn Hospital in the former Stagioni space (and close to James's home), Fukuda has a late-night menu sure to satisfy any Asian food craving.  It was like a restaurant sent to us from a much higher power (whichever you may believe in, if any) - exactly what we wanted and needed at 11 PM on a Saturday night.

As we arrived, Matt Kemp, the Executive Sushi Chef, was cleaning up for the night.  Although I could not try his artistic and creative sushi renderings that evening, I have tried them in the past at Emilia Romagna, a short-lived sushi/pizza restaurant (yeah, weird) in the Strip District (now V Ultra Lounge).  The man is a sushi-making marvel - blends of sushi, rice, and other ingredients that rival anything at Nakama ("Pittsburgh's Best Sushi Restaurant", according to the readers of the Pittsburgh City Paper). I wish I still had the pictures of his creations, but you can read about them and see beautiful pictures of them in a review by Food Collage.

We were able to partake in their late-night menu.  James had been there before, so he took the reigns and ordered one of each of the Robotayaki (Charcoal grilled skewers) for us to share:

Robotayaki (from front): Scallion, Shiitake, Yellowtail, Salmon

Robotayaki: Chicken

Love.  Grilled meat and vegetables.  Although small, each grilled skewer packed amazing Asian flavors.  A great late-night snack.

But more substantial - and more delicious even - than those was the Okonomiyaki, a combination of Napa cabbage, beni shoga (pickled ginger, colored red), Dashi (broth base, as in miso soup), and Katsuobushi (dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna), topped with pork belly, house-made Oko sauce, and Japanese mayo:

Um, but this picture does not do it justice, simply because the fun part about the food is that the Katsuobushi looks alive, as the flakes dance upon the top of the Okonomiyaki when it is served to the patron hot:

AND DELICIOUS.  I even ate some pork belly (a no-no to my belly) because it was that good.

Oh, and we ordered a second.

While we waited for the second Okonomiyaki to come out, we had also ordered the Edamame, which was simply grilled and salted:

Edamame (grilled)
Neither of us had ever had grilled edamame, and we both agreed that they were the BEST way to eat them.  Anything grilled normally tastes better.  Well, except watermelon.  Tried that once.  Never again.

Grilled Watermelon.  No.  Don't even try.
If you have a late-night hankering for Japanese food, Fukuda is your answer.  And get the Okonomiyaki.  Or two.  You have to because you'll be amazed by its ginger-pork belly taste combined with the slight smoked fishy-ness of the Katsuobushi.

Who wouldn't want food that dances after 11 PM?

Oh man, and if this place is that good late...I can only imagine how awesome it is at a decent hour (and with Matt making the sushi!)...

4770 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (Bloomfield)


Fukuda on Urbanspoon

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