While it’s apparently traditional to give tin or aluminum on a ten-year anniversary, Biwa, one of the city’s most lauded Japanese restaurants, shut down and moved to a new location within the same building, instead. As the photos show, the new Biwa, christened Biwa Izakaya, is much more intimate.
Biwa Izakaya started offering its full omakase menu this week, and Rosen says he’s honed both the individual plates and overall menu. “We’ve always wanted this level of detail and level of interaction with guests.”
The sashimi selection, for instance, features ocean trout, scallop, hamachi, albacore tuna, and shime saba (mackerel), and each preparation is inspired by a regional cuisine. The raw scallop gets a Thai twist, marinated in coconut milk and green curry, and the shime saba goes continental, with smoked potato and mustard seeds. Other plates include things like little otsumami dishes, Korean-style lamb tartare, boiled pork and shrimp dumplings, and kimchi hotpot.
Gone altogether from Biwa are the yakitori, as well as some of its most famous signature dishes: its ramen, gyoza, and burger. These are all now available at Noraneko, the Southeast restaurant near OMSI Rosen describes as a “Japanese diner.”
“Biwa has always been a lot of things. Now each of those things has a home,” he says.
At 600 square feet, Biwa Izakaya seats around 25. It serves dinner every day of the week except Tuesday, from 5 to 10 p.m.