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Donna Irene


Written by
Donna Irene

We love a good speakeasy, and we’ll go anywhere that involves walking past a dining room full of people to another smaller dining room that those people aren’t aware of. This is the set up at Kojin, a small counter that seats about eight in the back of Little River’s Hachidori Ramen Bar. But the novelty of feeling like a secret agent is only a small part of what makes Kojin great. They also serve a very good rotating menu of Japanese small plates, which you can order a la carte or as a $75 six-course tasting menu. We did the latter, and didn’t regret it. The meal started with an excellent Caesar salad with shredded nori, Sasanian roe, and katsubushi. There was a tartare featuring tuna that had been tied into little bows, savory tomatoes in a bowl of dashi, and a great chawanmushi with a jiggly egg in the center. Also, sake. There will be a lot of that too if you opt for the $45 sake pairing, which is not a bad idea. And even though this might sound like a super fancy meal, the husband/wife team who run Kojin make it feel more like a dinner party where no one will judge you for pounding the table in delight, or having 30% more sake than you should have.

Donna Irene
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