Osaka other areas
This guide currently covers Tsuruhashi, the Osaka Bay area, and a few other stations around town.
A healthy Japanese buffet is the unusual concept here - all you can eat of seasonal hors appetizers and side dishes, salads and original desserts, plus rice and miso soup. Y1800 before 5pm, Y2500 after. Do-it-yourself take-out bentos are also available for Y1000.
Shimaya 6-2-61, Universal Citywalk. Open 11am-4, 5-11pm daily.
Okay, so it's a silly theme restaurant based on a movie, but it certainly fits in with the overall experience at Universal Studios. The food isn't bad, they have unusual cocktails, and if you don't happen to like shrimp you can opt for baby-back ribs or grilled fish instead.
Shimaya 6-2-61, Universal Citywalk. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Loud music, souvenir t-shirts, and some pretty good hamburgers at this ubiquitous international tourist stop.
Shimaya 6-2-61, Universal CityWalk Osaka 3F. Open 10am-10pm daily.
Yes, it's yet another food-oriented mini-theme park, this one devoted to Osaka's beloved octopus balls. Five famous takoyaki shops are represented, and the souvenir area sells frozen takoyaki to prepare at home.
Shimaya 6-2-61, Universal Citywalk. Open 11am-10pm daily.
While it doesn't demand a special trip across town on its own, this mini-food theme park is worth a stop if you're off to the nearby aquarium or Suntory Museum. Eighteen quaint little shops sell everything from sembei crackers and roast chestnuts to gyoza, takoyaki and onigiri.
Kaigandori 1-1-10, Tempozan Harbor Village, Market Place 1F. Open 10am-8pm daily.
Owner-chef Olivier imports a lot of his ingredients directly from his native France, and you'll find un-Japanese dishes like tripe, stewed rabbit, cous cous, and wine and cheese even at lunchtime. The wine list is reasonable, with eight choices by the glass or carafe, plus five Belgian beers. There's an all-weather terrace out front, with cozy, bistrot-style seating inside. Dinner is Y3800/5600/8000 prix-fixe, or a la carte. There are usually just one or two choices at lunchtime, so call ahead if you're fussy about what you eat.
Nakazaki-nishi 1-8-24. (Nakazaki-cho, Tanimachi Line. Take exit 4, first right. Walk straight for about 150 meters until you see the windmill.) Open noon-2, 5:30-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
We're always happy when our waiter asks "Would you like that spicy?", and at Rajastan they don't pull their punches if you answer in the affirmative. Owner-chef Osto presents a full menu of fiery curries, spicy stir-fried "deviled" dishes, roast chicken, salads and original dishes like his rice roll made with stir-fried pork and vegetables. The decor is quite festive, with rattan chairs, a wooden floor and two outdoor decks.
Nakazaki 3-5-14. (just west of Nakazaki 2-chome crossing) Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-11pm daily.
If you want to try blowfish without breaking the bank, this old-fashioned fugu specialty shop offers full-course menus from Y3500. (No credit cards.)
Higashi-Ohashi 3-14-24. (1 min. from Tsuruhashi sta. exit 5) Open 1:30-9:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
One of the better spots for yakiniku in Tsuruhashi; their menu includes a good variety of organ meats as well as straight-up cuts of beef. Budget around Y3000.
Shimoajiharacho 2-14. Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Tuesdays.
Top-quality meat sets Yoshida apart from the competition, as does their special homemade sauce; dinner runs around Y5000.
Shimoajiharacho 4-11. (1 min. from Tsuruhashi sta. exit 4) Open 5-11pm daily.