My trip is back on, and I'm in good spirits (well, better, not crippled), too. Now it's Bologna instead of Genoa, but, hey, all meats are good meats when they're Italian.
I met shadowdaddy at the Black Horse near Oxford Street and joined him and his coworkers for a bit (and a Pimms). When we left, we kind of randomly went up Rathbone Place to Goodge Street looking for food, where we saw the pretty little red paper lanterns (with the characters for "wine" painted on them) hanging outside a restaurant. That's usually a good sign, but the fact that the customers all looked Japanese and there was bar seating and a guy working a grill REALLY convinced us Oshio (Yoisho? 33 Goodge St.) was worth visiting
And, oh, it was. So many good options on the menu! The agedashi tofu was crispy on the outside and warm on the inside and had a nice dollop of ginger paste on top of the other mystery stuff and onions it always comes with; the gyoza (last) were welded together and served, upside down, on a metal plate; and the something something cold soba noodles had frothed egg white, onions, AND crispy fried stuff (yam?) on top. It wasn't as good as the zaru soba I had in Kyoto, but ... when you have to refer back to Kyoto to find something better to compare it to, you're looking at some damn good soba. And shadowdaddy, who was drunk and spent an hour telling me about a thirty minute meeting at work (looks like he's heading to promotion town), said the octopus on his "sushi on a bowl of rice" was the best he's ever had, and every other piece of fish was just generally great, including the mackerel and the soba.
So, a big winner, a perfect little homey dive Japanese restaurant like in all of my beloved Naruse and Ozu movies, the food perfect and the atmosphere ... just like home.