<Odawara Restaurant Guide>

Friday, August 25, 2006

North American Restaurants

"I recommend a good restaurant.
The name is  Saddlebag.The Scenery from there is very good. Besides the resutaurant has some horses. We can see them. It`s located 
on the old road near Manazuru town. Owner is friendly."
--Kiyomi Aihara

Saddle Back
My husband and I often ride our motorcycles into Izu on Route 135. Driving south past Hayakawa and Nebukawa stations, 'Saddle Back' isperched on a cliffside overlooking a small 'ranch' (with horses, partof their establishment) and the ocean. The interior is, as you wouldexpect, southwestern. There are about 8 tables on a balcony outside,and about 8 more inside. Gorgeous views from all tables, butespecially those on the balcony. I had beef stew, served in a largetoasted bread bowl (1365 yen). My husband had seafood curry (1155yen), and we shared two appetizers; a salad (630 yen) and a plate ofsausages (630 yen). Everything was tasty, and the prices were reasonable.Service was friendly, nothing special. The restaurant is open from11am and last order is at 8pm. They are closed on Tuesdays. They have awebsite at: www.saddle-back.com/ Their phone number is: 0465-29-0414.The restaurant is located in Odawara, just a few kilometers down thecoast. Heading south, don't take the toll roads. Actually, you can'tmiss the place. It is burnt orange and looks as if it has been air-lifted from Santa Fe. There is lots of parking, in front of therestaurant, and on the opposite side of the street. Even if you arenot hungry, stop here for drinks and the absolutely gorgeous view!

--Sandra Golinski

Times Cafe: 4 Stars (American, Italian)
The music is loud!!! The menu offers many kinds of food and drink. I like the Omukarea--Omu-rice. I add the mild curry to it and it tastes great. The meals are large so come on an empty stomach! It is on Route 74 near Anabe Station.--Naomi YamaguchiJohn Festa: 3 Stars (North American) This restaurant/bar occasionally has live bands. It has pool tables and somekaraoke rooms with hundreds of songs in English. I have sung many of them, much to the consternation of the people in theroom with me! John Festa is your basic casual burger type restaurant that serves beer, similar to those found in all the majorNorth American cities. I heard the owner frequents Vancouver, and he modelled this restaurant on the Fog & Suds and Earls--two famous restaurant chains in the Greater Vancouver area. At times you can find a Vancouverite working here. It is one of the morepopular hang outs for the local foreign crowd too. It`s a good place for a casual night out with your friends or students. It is noisy!If you want quiet go elsewhere. To get there walk straight from Odawara Station and down the street that passes the amazinglynoisy seafood shop (the one where they are always hawking their seafood at the top of their voices). Continue down this road,you will pass the Bank of Yokohama at some point and there will eventually be a narrow road to the left. You will see a pachinkoparlor on the first floor and John Festa is on the second floor. If you don`t understand these amazingly vague directions, just flagdown any local and they will point out they way, or in typical Japanese style, if you look lost enough or 'touristy' enough, theymay even walk you right to the door. It`s a nice country that way. The Japanese often go way out of their way to help foreigners,who look like they need help. --Kevin Burns Never Trust a White Russian: An Unfortunate Experience at John Festa

Suzukitei Restaurants
3075 Kaneko, Oimachi, Ashigarakami Gun, Kanagawa

The Suzukitei Restaurant in Oimachi

I had dinner at the Suzukitei Restaurant at the end of
August. I was celebrating my niece`s birthday.
It`s a steak restaurant along a local narrow road (3075 Kaneko)
connected to Route 255.

Of course we ordered steak. The chef cooked it at the
counter in front of us. It`s good we could watch how to
cook it. I had a medium steak with roasted vegetables, including
egg plant and bean sprouts.

After the meal we changed seats and we had cake and coffee
for dessert. Everything was delicious.

My dinner cost about 5,000 Yen including desert. I think
it`s a bit expensive. But this restaurant gives one a feeling
of peace. I will go back to Suzukitei.

--Yoshiko Sasaki

Cafe Ten: 2 Stars (Jazz Bar/Restaurant)
The unique thing about this Midori Cho eatery is the jazz music and the photos of Jazz musicians on the walls.It is conveniently located in front of Midori Cho Station on the Daiyuzan Line. There is quite a wide variety of food offered,but it really is more of a bar than a restaurant. Most people go there to have a drink and enjoy the taped jazz music.It is cozy and relaxing. The food is adequate but not award winning. There are various seafood dishes, hamburger steaks,and pizza to name just a few. Go there with some good friends, order a Japanese draft beer and enjoy the jazz.
--Kevin Burns


The Beer Garden in Matsuda:
I've found what is probably the only roof-top beer garden in this area. It is in Oi-machi just as you cross the Ashigara bridge from Kaisei. You'll see a Saizeria restauarant on the left and a Family Mart on the right. The beer garden is on the roof of the building behind the Family Mart.There are about 20 tables and they all afford nice views of Mt. Fuji et al. In fact, it was clear enough that I could make out the looooong line of head lamps on the climbers snaking their way up Fuji! The food is standard pub fare but I highly recommend the chicken kara-age as it is home made. In fact, the beer garden is a family business as they sat down to have dinner when things slowed down. A dai-jockey(BIG beer) goes for 700 yen and the chicken kara-age was 400 yen. Definitely a place to go to beat the summer heat! --Shawn Thir

Located in the Odawara City Mall is a new internet cafe, open 24 hours. It is quite large, and each computer is in its own wooden cubicle. There are lots of computers, including some iMacs; cable TV; wall to wall Japanese comic books; play station/sega/... video games; couple 'booths'; free drinks; a food menu;... It costs 300 yen for a membership, and 1 hour is 480 yen, after that, every 15 minutes is 80 yen. From 9am to 7pm they have a 'Day Package', 980 yen for 4 hours. They also have a 'Lunch Set', 11am to 2pm,which includes your choice of one item from the menu and 1 1/2 hours for 780 yen. (I think this is only good during the week). There is also a 'Night Package', from 12 midnight to 9am, 7 hours for 1,200 yen. The phone number is 0465-46-0800. It is located on the second floor, to the right of Toys-R-Us. --Sandra Golinski

Leaf: (Internet Cafe)
I found the Internet cafe in Odawara only after I accidentally walked into the sandwhich board on the sidewalk advertising the place. It's called Leaf and it's in the building AEON used to be in. It's between Maruta Joy and Doutour Coffee. I didn't go inside since there always seems to be a catch with these cafes(ie pay some sort of membership fee). Anyway, the prices looked kind of steep. But, hey, if you're dying for Internet access, you can now get some.--Shawn Thir

Restaurant reviewer Yukie Miyamoto ate at Doutour with her daughter recently and this is what she had to say about the experience: My daughter and I had a light meal at the Doutour Coffee Shop in the City Mall in Kamonomiya. I ordered a cup of Cafe Latte and mydaughter ordered a cup of Royal Milk Tea and two hot dogs. All cost about 1,000 Yen. The atmosphere in the coffee shop was good and the coffee tasted good too. But the lovers beside us quarreled for a long time and that was disappointing. By Yukie Miyamoto

The Loft: (Jazz Bar and Restaurant)
There is a jazz bar in Odawara. I yearn for the days of Café Ten near Odawara castle. It was a-hole- in- the- wall that could hold maybe 20 people; just a counter and 2 tables. It was dark and smoky with the sounds of John Coltrane or Miles Davis hanging with the smoke. It was a place you could go to and stare into your drink and not have anybody bother you; a place you went to to kick back and have a moment for yourself or chat with the master as he mixed a drink. I was in there every weekend. Café Ten is gone now; I heard that the master had problems with the landlord or was looking to expand his business.

The master, by the way, is hell of a nice guy and organizes the Odawara Jazz Festival every year. This is truly a great late summer event in Odawara and I recommend going to it. Anyway, Café Ten then resurfaced in Idaoka as part of a restaurant/bar called The Loft. The master had more space for his bar and had live music but the atmosphere that Café Ten had was gone. I haven’t been to the Loft in Idaoka in a while so I don’t know if the jazz bar is still there. About 6 months ago, the master resurfaced again near Odawara station in a place called The Loft(must be a local chain), which, go figure, happens to be underground. The Loft is a 1 minute walk from the station and is beside Hashodo bookstore. While it is more of a restaurant than a bar, the master still has his stacks of jazz CDs and cooks up some great stuff. I was in there 2 weeks ago and it looks like he’s trying to revive the spirit of Café Ten. Check it out- it’s a good place to kick back and get some good food.

Cafe Natural
Restaurants -Others
14-1 Sogakoumi, Odawara City, Kanagawa

Serves food of all kinds. A great restaurant and well worth going to. We have often
enjoyed great Christmas dinners there too.



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