Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?

CONTRIBUTED BY MEREDITH NOVARIO

My husband is home again and my mother is still in town. You know what that means. That’s right. Every night can be date night. It all sounds blissful until we start getting down to the details like where exactly are we going to go. And what are we going to do. And didn’t we used to have interests and a wild side? We’re pretty amateur at this whole date night phenomena.

Typically our dates begin with coffee so that we can keep our eyes open past ten. Then dinner, somewhere, anywhere but at home. Um, let’s see. Then home. Because we’re rowdy like that. Our last two dates ended with some shopping at Jusco.

Help a couple out, would you?

We want knockyoursocksoff food with pizazz. We want ambiance and low-lighting that’s easy on wrinkles. We want live music. We want people to stare at. A view to take away breath. A space to be child-free and goofy.

Thursday is our first night out so boss us around and tell us where to go.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Does anyone know the contact information for the Thai Thai restaurant on the 58? I want to take my husband there on Valentines Day but I want to make a resveration so we’re sure to have a seat. (nothing ruins your night quite like not being able to eat where you want too…lol) I’ve tried to google the restaurant but I dont think the real name is Thai Thai because my searches are coming up empty. THANKS!

  2. Can somebody PLEASE tell me about this curfew I have been hearing about.
    I heard about it in April- but nothing since then, and I cant find anything about it on the internet! Is it still in effect? If so, what time is it?
    Who does it involve?

  3. Okay, hubby and I finally had a chance to try out Den Den’s and loved it. It is definitely a quaint little spot for husband and wife to share a quiet, dare I say “romantic,” evening together. Here are the directions if anyone is interested:

    Directions to Den Den’ from Kadena Gate 3: Go straight out Kadena gate 3 until road ends. Turn left on Route 329. Once on Rt 329, immediately get in your right lane and take that first right at the light (once you turn, you’ll see Kentucky Fried Chicken on your left). Follow down a little ways until you see a Hot Spar (now known as CoCo’s, like we need another “coco” name to get confused about)/Family Mart on your left- take the street right before it and you will see Den Den’s on your right. Big parking area. I have a picture if anyone is interested in seeing the sign from the street.

  4. Going to second Diana’s question since there was no answer… Directions to Den Dens?? Or a phone number?? Trying to figure out a plan for hubby’s day off this weekend…

  5. Does anyone have directions to this “Den Den’s” place mentioned earlier? Husband and I need a night out and I’m looking for something local. Thanks! –Diana

  6. We never made reservations and never had a problem getting a table at Thai Thai. It might have helped that we went a little earlier than most of the Japanese diners and I don’t think we went on a weekend night. Also, FYI there are two paid parking lots (one behind and one in the next block). Have fun!

  7. Kelly,

    Thanks for the directions and for the two other recommendations. I just heard about those cream puffs from Michel’s but have never been there before either. Can’t wait to try all of these great places!

    Julia

  8. Julia,

    Here are the directions for the curry place:

    Head towards Zanpa on Route 6. It’s about 2.5 km down from Torii Station’s main gate, on the right hand side of the road, at the 1st traffic light after Lawson’s. It’s directly across from a supermarket with two red birds on the sign. (Right after that light there’s a split in the road with a sign for Alivia Hotel right in the middle of it. If you’ve passed that, you’ve gone too far. If you pass the little police station, you’ve gone too far too.)

    I got these directions off my post for the bakery Boulangerie Cocques, which is nextdoor.

    If you go to the curry place though, I highly recommend two additional stops:

    a) to the above mentioned bakery to get an awesome bagette, although they close at like 6pm

    b) to “Michel’s”, another bakery a short walk up the road, for the best, freshest cream puffs on island, guaranteed. Look for the pink awning.

  9. Lucia,
    We are headed to San Diego. We have a place rented on Coronado and will just be there a year. We are really really going to miss it here, but are excited to check out the West coast a bit! It is so nice to hear from you on this blog! I’m sure I’ll keep checking it out once we leave 🙁

    Shelly

  10. It’s Friday and we done had our date! We weren’t able to get through to Mintama so that thew us off a bit. And a few other mundane wrenches landed us with a whole new plan that didn’t include any of your wonderful suggestions. Go ahead, call me RUDE.

    So, instead we went to the Okonomiyaki restaurant in Mihama. Okonomiyaki Osino. Yums. And then off to Okinawan gelato. Brown sugar flavored. Topped off with a round of puri-kuda for the illiterate and, AND, I sucked it up and rode the ferris wheel despite all the rumors you’ve likely heard and the fear I harbor.

    It wasn’t the date I envisioned and I didn’t get to try out what you all recommended YET but all was very good and I always love that time to just be with Joe. Even if he did try and rock the ferris wheel once. And only once because I was so totally on the verge of tears. Those slow rides give a girl far too much time to imagine the elaborate details of a gruesome demise. BUT afterwards, with my life intact, my petty worries had washed away.

    Nothing like a brush with death to spice things up.

    Thanks ya’ll for pitching in. I like me some teamwork.

  11. Kelly, earthhopper or anybody else in the know:

    I’ve seen the pics for Shimauma Curry and my mouth is watering! Can I bug you for directions?

    Thanks!
    Julia

  12. Shelly,
    Hope you guys enjoy your final three weeks on Okinawa. Please give Sugako a big hug from us. We think of her often. Where are you headed?
    Lucia

  13. Shelly Says:
    July 23rd, 2007 at 12:02 pm e

    Hey there!
    I really thought Thai Thai’s down on 58 was a great date night place. Here’s our website with a blurb I wrote about it and a photo of a part of the inside: http://www.ellabell.com/august2005.html

    Drive south on Highway 58 into downtown Naha. As you approach the Matsuyama Crossing intersection, begin looking to your right. Look for a building front covered in tree branches/or sticks and then just park at one of the public lots. We parked on the right side of 58 about a block or two from the restaurant.

    Have fun!!

  14. Hey!
    I posted a comment about Thai Thais on Julie’s blurb about Fabs and linked to my website with a pic and a little info. I love hearing about these places..too bad we only have 3 weeks left here! 🙁

  15. The Italian restaurant & coffee shop nearby seems like a slam dunk! I can’t wait. I hope they can squeeze us in for Thursday.

    The latin dancing would only work out if there was a few hour stint at a bar beforehand. After a few months in El Salvador I can assure you that my hips don’t move. No Shakira in this house. Sadly.

    ANYWAY, I will report back on my findings! Thanks to you all and especially Kelly for the leads.

  16. I’ve never been to Thai Thai but I’ve heard about it. Shelly says that they have a more extensive menu in Japanese than their English one and if you’re familiar with Thai food you can ask if they have that item available.

    Sooo glad you did this post Mere! I think I’ve been in a food rut and I’m really looking forward to trying some new places now.

  17. Lucia,

    If I’m thinking of the same place, I believe it’s called Thai Thai. Is it like you are eating in little rooms/tubes suspended from the ceiling?

    The atmosphere there is really cool and unusual…and intimate! That’s what makes the experience (rather than the food, which if I recall correctly was kind of like izakaya food…although the honey bread was awesome.) I think it’s worth a visit.

    I heard the sushi place downstairs was good too!

    Den Den’s is cute!

    P.S. Thanks for the props Catlin

  18. Den Den is a great date night spot (if it is still open…ask around). It is near Kadana Gate 3. Interesting intimate setting, muted light, Okinawa pottery, great food…truly a little escape.

    Another suggestion is a Thai restaurant in Naha. It is on 58 headed south on the right hand side (it is before you get to the Tree house restaurant). There are big flaming torches outside and the interior is exotic and creative with lots of little nooks and crannies for dining. English menu. If I remember the name I will e-mail it to you.

    Have fun and enjoy actually eating a meal without interuption (what a luxury!).

  19. I don’t have any tips ’cause I live on the other side of the world but I just wanted to say this: How cool is kellyerace?!!! All those tips! Have fun on date night:-)

  20. Okay, I can’t seem to stop writing on the subject…

    If you feel like gettin’ a little wild and like Latin dancing, here’s a link with a list of Latin clubs in Okinawa

    http://www.mamboki.com/clubs.html

    The only one I’ve been to is “Salsa Caliente” which is just off Kokusai street up on the 3rd or 4th floor. I have no idea how to tell you how to get there, but can find out if you (or anyone else) is interested. It was really fun and people were dancing their butts off. There was a lot of merengue and reggaeton kind of stuff in addition to salsa.

    I’ve heard Salsatina’s is really good. I don’t know much about the other places though.

  21. Just read the “Auberge Bonne Chére Raout” link more carefully. It says it’s in a log cabin style building. Well, it’s not anymore. They’ve remodeled, just so you know!

  22. I hesitate suggesting this place because I love its quaintness so much, but…

    Mintama in Yomitan (on route 6, past Torii Station, Max Value, and JA, toward Cape Zanpa…look for a target/bull’s eye sign on the right hand side of the road.) It’s open Monday-Saturday. Make reservations even on a week night! They speak great English, so it shouldn’t be a problem.I love the bruschetta, the delicious vegetable salad, and the blue cheese gnocchi. Joe usually goes for the raffuta (Okinawan fatty bacon thing). The mahi mahi is a work of art.

    The menu is mostly Italian, but with Okinawan dishes as well.

    Phone number: 098-958-6286

    Oh, while you can get coffee there, you might want to try the little coffee bar/craft shop diagonally across the street to get your pre-date fix. The people are friendly and the crafts are tasteful.

    Another awesome dinner date spot, complete with tablecloths and multiple forks is Auberge Bonne Chére Raout, in Onna. I’d go there if you want a more romantic atmosphere than the more casual Mintama. I’ve only been once, but that’s just because my husband thinks it’s overpriced and always wants to eat soba. I think it’s a great treat and told him if he’s ever in the doghouse, the quickest way out would be to take me there. On the menu, there are basically two meal sets. When I was there it was veal and a fish (then there are some a la carte items too). There was a soup, a very flavorful, fresh tasting pasta, and coffee and desert (the best restaurant desert I’ve had in Okinawa so far.) The only downside is that they stick with the Okinawan fashion of chilling red wine. At Mintama’s they don’t. To get there, stay on Rt. 6, passing the turn off for Zanpa. I don’t know how many km’s it is but look for a multi-storied white building on the right with the restaurants name on the outside. Here’s a link: http://www.okinawaindex.com/index/?tid=3&cid=5&id=68

    I don’t remember the prices either, just that my husband and I disagreed about it being over priced.

    Okay, quickly, let me give you two more restaurants both more or less in my neck of the woods (Yomitan), but maybe you’ll think it’s worth the trip.

    “Rakuza”: Google tells me that Star’s and Stripes just reviewed this restaurant. Here’s the review:

    http://stripes.com/article.asp?section=140&article=54742&archive=true

    The last one I don’t remember the name of or any halfway decent directions. And it’s kind of far. But if you have a hankering for what approximates Spanish food and feel like an adventure, travel north into Onna. Just as you reach the first buildings keep an eye for a kinda Spanish moorish looking building on your left. It stands out. The sangria was good. The “tapas”, oddly enough, were like American sized portions. What I liked best though were the bathrooms, the doors of which are built purposely small so that you feel like you are entering a hobbit’s world. This place, I actually think would be a good family place ’cause it’s so big (but broken up into various little rooms), a nice stop on the way back from the Aquarium or something.

    Okay, I’ll stop now. Have fun on your dating adventures. Sorry I don’t have more than food.

    -K

    PS Just thought of a very casual “more than food” type date. In American village, the ramen place under the bowling alley is THE BOMB, esp. w/ eggs, corn, and butter. After you are totally stuffed, go into the Sega arcade and battle one another in Mortal Kombat (or whatever) and work off the calories with the arcade dancing game.

  23. There’s always Transit Cafe on the Sunabe sea wall. Also, Sam’s By The Sea in Awase, Marino’s Pizza and Pasta at the Main City on Rte 85, Den’s Den’s (an Izakia – bar-) over near Exit 5 off of Rte 329, Mama’s Cafe in Hamby Town, Zen’s Restaurant in Hamby Town, The Four Season’s in Awase (it’s less than a year old and the best of the three locations), and one we haven’t tried yet but will soon…. Maui by Sam’s in Naha (right on Rte 58 about four blocks before Rte 329 near the airport, it’s teppanyaki). E-mail me for directions if you like!
    XOXO-K

    • I saw your post on Okinawa Hai and wanted to know more about Sams by the sea. I was wondering if it would be a good place for a romantic dinner for new years Eve or if you have another suggestion. Also how far is sams from camp courtney and the address of it. Any help would be much appreciated

      • Tyler, type Sams by the Sea into the search bar in the top right of this page. There is post dedicated to it with reviews and directions. Personally, I love all the Sam’s restaurants and think it is perfect for a date night. In my opinion you could get from the Courtney area to Sam’s in Awase in about 30 minutes. Maybe someone else who lives in the Courtney area and has made the trip could chime in on that.

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