Friday, February 18, 2005
suehiro café, little tokyo
whenever i find myself downtown, late at night, and hungry, i'm most likely going to end up at suehiro café in little tokyo. it's certainly not the best food in town, but it's open until 1 am on weekdays and 3am on weekends, the food is decent and inexpensive, and the atmosphere is that of a favourite, if somewhat worn, diner. there's only 49 seats--some at the counter, but most at formica'd tables that you might end up sharing if it gets busy. and it does, even in the middle of the night. the crowd is varied but mostly a loyal group--folks who live and work around little tokyo, artists from the loft districts nearby, museum visitors, even a group of elderly bruins fans the last time i was there.
the lighting is low, but warm, and when you first enter, you are greeted with one of those "please wait to be seated" signs i always see at family diners and chain restaurants. okay, i'll wait, but i've got a tableful of manga, magazines, and books to distract me, and i'll probably bring one to my seat if i'm alone, and not in the mood for people-watching. the menu is actually quite large--lots of combinations and sets, ramen with different toppings, and rice bowls to choose from, but everything is quite homey and home-cooked looking. comfort food. i usually end up with a katsu of some sort, or maybe a big bowl of noodles. despite the crowds, there is never the urge to hurry, to rush through the meal. perhaps this is one of the reasons i like coming here. time slows just a little, and no one expects anything of you, except that you have a full belly and a smile on your face when you leave.
337 east first street