Tanakasan is named after the restaurant’s chef Eric Tanaka.
Under the large Tom Douglas empire, Tanakasan offers the Asian flare in the collection.
The physical location of the restaurant in downtown is a multi-restaurant/eatery concept similar to Trove: Tanakasan, the full sit down restaurant; Home Remedy, the take out place offering pizzas, sandwiches, rice bowls and “Frankies” (Indian burrito); and Assembly Hall with its smoothies and juices, coffees and bagels.I checked out the menu online before my lunch date with my friendand and found their dinner menu a lot more attractive than their lunch menu.
We ordered 3 items to share: General Tso’s spare ribs, Burger bibimbap and the twice-fried chicken wings, highly recommended by my other friend.
Verdict: the ideas were interesting, but I felt the food did not meet my conjured up expectation from reading the menu.
First up, we got our General Tso’s ribs.
To my surprise, it was very dry; General Tso’s was supposed to be sticky and saucy.
Rib meat was very tender, nicely crisp and dry.
The negative was that they were bland, not enough flavoring or not marinate long enough.
The ribs were neither vinegary nor sweet enough as General Tso’s.
The highly recommended twice fried chicken wings were very interesting: the fried coating was extremely fluffy and airy, yet crispy at the same time — reminded me of fried pork rind.
We chose the Serrano pepper caramel sauce, and it was delicious: sweet with a late hotness in the mouth, and a little bit of salt; the green pepper flavors came through strongly.
The wings were still juicy inside, quite a tasty treat.
The burger bibimbap was ok.
I was expecting a different interpretation of bibimbap, perhaps similar to a ramen burger, with patties as the “bun”, and rice and Korean vegetables inside.
However, by just placing huge burger patties on the rice, visually it removed the beauty of the delicate mounds of different color, shapes and sizes of the vegetables that came in the traditional bibimbap.
The patties were a bit dry and the big chunk of meat did not belong.
Not a fan.
A surprise element worth mentioning: the use of pineapple in the sauce, it gave a hint of tartness and fruitiness which complimented the rest of the ingredients really well.
Overall my visit was underwhelming.