During this day and age, time with some of our most treasured friends that we very seldom see come few and far between. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for work, family, significant others, errands and everything else that needs to get done — so when we get to spend time with these great people, it becomes even more special.
One of those times that stand out in my mind was once upon a birthday. That November some years ago, not only did I get to meet up with two of my girlfriends that I don’t get to see very often, but it was unforgettable for its uniqueness.
We went to Inakaya, a robatayaki in the New York Times building the city. It is a Japanese type of cooking that literally translates to “fireside cooking,” where food — mostly seafood and vegetables are slowly grilled over charcoal. I was excited to begin with as my favorite cuisine. But when my friends G and M told the staff that it was my birthday, they called the attention of the whole restaurant and started a five-minute ceremony, dedicated to me, that, I was later told, was for my good luck and fortune.
It did not end there. I was called to join the staff members in the pounding of the mochi. So my friend M and I went to the center of the restaurant and pounded the mochi as drummers made music and others chanted to the beat.
The food was good, the vegetables tasted fresh and the grilled taste was very pronounced. I especially liked the asparagus.
We were served mochi cake afterwards, as well as mochi treats which were just the right sweetness.
I pass by Inakaya all the time on my way to and from work, and it always makes me smile remembering my time there with these ladies. More than the food and the unusual birthday ceremonies, it was the quality time with friends I will always be thankful for and will never forget.
Inakaya Restaurant Rating: 8 out of 10