Have you heard about Lucky Robot?
It opened on South Congress next to Amy’s, where Zen used to be. But before I, Megan, get into any more details, I have two words —pardon me. THREE words for you:
Japanese Street Pizza!
I can’t stop thinking about it. Known as Okonomyiaki, it’s shrimp and Krab topped with kewpie mayo, a savory tonkatsu sauce, pickled ginger, scallions, bonito and sesame. I don’t know twenty seven of those words I just typed, but my stomach is nodding its head in agreement with me: hot damn, it’s good. And not just tasty — spooky too. The topping, the “bonito” part, moves. On its own. Like it’s alive.
To me, it looked like seaweed undulating silently underwater. I took a video of it, so if you’re extra curious, come over and we can stare at my iPhone together. According to local lore (the owner), it has something to do with the heat and the fact that bonito is delicate and paper-thin.
Back to the location: Adam Weisberg, who founded the local Japanese restaurant chain Zen, decided that with this particular location, he wanted to expand on what patrons love about Zen and create an elevated menu and restaurant experience.
The Adam Weisberg.
For instance: iPads dot each table.
You can order your drinks and various dishes after taking a fingertip tour through the menu. Nutritional info, price, and photos of each plate appear on the screen.
If you like, you can even pay your bill this way. This does not, however, mean that you don’t deal with any wait staff—they still serve you at all times.
“The iPads are really here for you to have fun,” says Adam. “You can course your meal your meal to be as slow or as fast as you like. You can rate it, too.”
Other fun features:
–A swing seat is suspended from the ceiling.
–The wait staff dresses in Harajuku street style.
–The menu offers gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian items (with many under $10).
–And, sake. Sake Punch, to be exact. Pretty darn tasty.
This one is the Green Manalishi: Junmai sake, lemon & lime juice, agave nectar, cucumber, cilantro, mint, serrano, magic.
The Orient Express: Cucumber-infused sake, lime, lemongrass, cucumber, fever tree bitter lemon. These punches are, as you can see, served in ginormous 42oz carafes.
We also tried:
Yummy sashimi, adorned with crispy shallot, cilantro, ponzu, and lemongrass soy.
Crisped brussell sprouts tossed in lemongrass soy — be still my beating heart.
This makimoto roll is grilled hanger steak, avocado, carrot, topped with shrimp and plated with that delicious, savory tonkatsu from the Okonomiyaki pizza, as well as green onions and spicy sauce.
A pretty little sashimi plate, made up of seared albarcoare, avocado, cucumber, serrano, cilantro, habernero oil, ponzu, and lime juice.
It was a slow burn, those bites.
And finally, dessert, which looks elegant in this picture, but was quickly and decisively ravaged.
Blue yuzu donatsu and Mexican vanilla bean ice cream.
I will definitely be going back. Very soon. Maybe with this dinner companion, i.e., the most adorable girl in the world.