居酒屋たぬき
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Delightful and Delectable Husband-and-Wife Fresh Fish Izakaya
狸 (tanuki) is the taxonomic name for the Japanese Raccoon Dog, a mountain animal whose all-too-frequent appearance in Japanese folklore is almost as unexplainable as the fact that its depiction always includes a pair of comically enormous testicles. Tanuki Izakaya (居酒屋たぬき) is a Japanese izakaya, or pub, in Osaka's trendy Minami Horie neighborhood which specializes in the dishes of the least populous prefecture in all of Japan, Tottori Ken (鳥取県). It's a family operation here, as a reliable and well-practiced husband chef and his irrepressibly positive wife/host churn out remarkable food from a menu almost as long as the Wikipedia entry for Tanuki. It takes balls to serve food this delicious, so perhaps in that sense Tanuki is an apt name for this charming izakaya. You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Make sure you get their seafood salad (海鮮サラダ) and order some tempura of your choosing (they'll make pretty much anything into tempura if they've got it!). Absolutely don't miss their oysters (かき or kaki). They do 'em fried, grilled, and sometimes even poached in a homemade dashii. Always incredible! Without any Japanese language skills, a safe bet is just to show them this: 日本語が話せないでもおなかがすいたとあなたのいけんおしんらいしますとなんでもおたべられますよ. (I don't speak Japanese but I'm hungry and I trust your opinion and I can eat anything.) Good place to drink too! Their sake selection is stellar, and the pours are almost as fulsome as those of the urinating tanuki statues on Shikoku Island.
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