Return Visit – Okatshe Tropicana Atlantic City
A longtime friend of mine has a Japanese friend who is also a foodie and wanted to visit Okatshe (Jose Garces’ take on an Izakaya restaurant) after reading my August 2017 TravelZork article. We knew of each other and wanted to meet anyway so four of us drove to Atlantic City just to visit the restaurant.
Favorite Japanese Restaurant in AC
Okatshe is my favorite restaurant in AC but I warned T that their sushi doesn’t get very good reviews. (Michael and I had sushi at Okatshe, late one night during ZorkFest and he agreed that the sushi was just okay, nothing special.)
So, after relishing our entry through the candy (okashi) shop entrance to the Japanese speakeasy, we settled in for the evening.
A Taste Adventure!
Going to Okatshe with a Japanese foodie made the evening a taste adventure! After everyone weighed in with their food preferences, we started to order. I say “started” because as T perused the menu and we tasted dishes, she would ask some questions of the wait staff and order some more!
Courses of Yakitori, Ramen, Japanese Pickles and a writhing pile of Okonomayaki fries (which fascinated us) were enjoyed. I called the Okonomayaki fries a french fry sundae in my last article, but got some additional information from T and the internet.
Okonomiyaki – Japanese Savory Pancake
Okonomiyaki is spelled incorrectly (as Okonomayaki) on the menu at Okatshe, which might be the reason I couldn’t Google it for the first article. It is a Japanese savory pancake. The name is derived from the word “okonomi” meaning “how you like” or “what you like” and yaki, meaning “grill.” T told us that it’s something that is made with whatever the kitchen has.
Okonomayaki Fries – Kewpie, Scallions and Jalapeño
The menu lists that Okonomayaki Fries are made with Kewpie, Scallions and Jalapeño. I mistakenly thought that Kewpie was fish but it is Japanese mayonnaise, made with rice vinegar and egg yolks. The fish is bonito flakes, which are thin shavings of preserved fish that start to wriggle around from the hot steam rising from a hot plate. Any way you want to describe it, the dish is fun and delicious.
I continue to be a fan of the Edamame, which is flavorful without being too greasy (though, best to mix it up before digging in, to distribute the ingredients sprinkled on top.)
Masataka’s Manhattan – Japanese Whisky, Carpano, Bitters
I had a Masataka’s Manhattan again (did not disappoint) and T chose a bourbon from their large selection.
Excellent Service – Okatshe Tropicana Atlantic City
The service is excellent at Okatshe, which makes it a great place to order as many dishes as your party can handle.
At 10pm, a DJ started blaring music, which I thought was a bit odd. It’s a restaurant, not a nightclub. I would make sure to go earlier next time, so if I wanted to talk with my companions for the entire evening, I could.
Jose Garces filed bankruptcy and sold his restaurant group, but it looks like he will remain as an employee of the new company after it is finalized. Branches of the Garces restaurants Amada and Distrito opened June 28th at Ocean Resort Casino (the former Revel) also in Atlantic City, so it looks like Garces’ culinary influence will continue.
Okatshe is closed on Mondays.
Okatshe at the Tropicana Atlantic City
Located in: Tropicana Atlantic City, Casino Level, South Tower
Address: 2831 Boardwalk Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Phone: +1 609-340-4053
Sunday: 5 PM – 11 PM
Thursday: 5 PM – 11 PM
Friday: 5 PM – 1 AM
Saturday : 5 PM – 1 AM