I would always choose Mt Fuji Inn which was a traditional Japanese Restaurant with Tea Rooms.
You have to take your shoes off and sit down at that table on the floor. It was my all time favorite food, setting, and experience.
When my husband and I were dating, I mentioned one time that maybe we should try out this Japanese Restaurant in town. We did, but without the Tea Room. Halfway through the meal, he said that next time we should reserve a tea room. I think that's when I knew he was the "one".
It's a special occasion restaurant for me. Not because it's fancy or the latest trend, but because it stirs up childhood memories and the consistency of this place in my life. The food is so yummy, you are made to feel special, and there is something about eating out without shoes. The hot tea and the chopsticks just add to the charm.
Our family had a contest in association with Amazing Race. You choose a team of two and the restaurant on your choice. If your team won the finale, we'd go to eat at your team's restaurant. My son and I both choose Mt Fuji. I've been thousand of times, he'd only gone one time and loved it.
Nick and Star won Amazing Race which was his team. When my team lost, I was rooting hard for Nick and Star so we could still go to Mt. Fuji. So last night off we went to Mt. Fuji to celebrate. Our first attempt was sidetracked by an ice storm that had unexpectedly occurred a few weeks back.
Let's just say it was thrilling and frustrating at the same time. I was thrilled to share this experience with them, but I kinda forgot they are still kids. While my husband and I enjoyed all the traditional Japanese favorites; Shrimp and Sweet Potato Tempura, Beef Sukiyaki; Egg Flower soup and sticky rice, there was fighting over the hot tea, kicking under the table, lots of getting up and down to go to the bathroom. There was our little waitress slaving over the Sukiyaki pot and our kids jumping up to go see the Koi Pond. There was talk about Japanese culture and the fact that they stay thin because it's so hard to use chopsticks!
A, the 4 year old, just had rice. M had sweet and sour chicken. C had udon noodle soup with Tempura. They tried a little of ours, used cheater chopsticks and overall, loved it too. I'm thinking my parents must have cringed a few times with me as well when I would beg to go. But now I only remember how wonderful it was. How thrilled I was too take my shoes off and go sit with my little tea cup.
Here's to tradition and passing on the experience. God, remind me of these special moments when I get frustrated and bogged down with life. Everyday can't be a Mt Fuji Mountaintop Experience, but it just might be.