You may wonder why I would recommend a Korean restaurant when Japan is replete with native casual and fine dining on favorites such as sushi, ramen, and curry rice. But take an evening out to enjoy the cuisine of Japan's neighbor nation, Korea, when you visit. There are many authentic Korean restaurants in Tokyo and neighboring cities. Our local favorite is Korean Dining Kan, a cozy and authentic Korean restaurant on the Tobu Urban Park Line in Noda City.
Just outside Kawama Station on the Tobu Urban Park Line are dozens of great locally-owned restaurants and izakaya, fun taverns and bistros that serve a great variety of food. But the one we come back to again and again is Kan for the generous portions and great hospitality.
The "mama-san", the hostess, greets each party after they have been seated. Her chef husband prepares elegantly presented platters of choice cuts of beef, pork and chicken garnished with artistically carved daikon radish and other vegetables. Let the hosts know if you are celebrating a special night. The chef is also a skilled balloon artist who crafts amazing sculptures for birthdays.
Kan is well known for its chijimi, the savory pancake similar to Japanese okonomiyaki. Kan's chijimi is laden with green onions and is thick, tender on the inside, and crispy on the outside. It's a meal in itself. Be sure to bring friends if you ask for the full order.
Another filling dish at Kan is ishiyaki bibimpap, rice in a stone bowl topped with sautéed vegetables, egg, meat, and spicy gochujang chili paste and doenjang, Korea's answer to miso paste. Wash it all down with either Japanese domestic beer, or makgeolli, slightly sweet Korean sparkling and cloudy rice wine served in round bowls.
Korean Dining Kan offers party plans and is open late, until 2 a.m. every night except Wednesday.