Tampopo is the first restaurant for Lee, who is Korean but has a doctorate from Temple University in visual anthropology and Japanese culture.
Having tested the grilled chicken sushi ($6.50 for 8 pieces) at this petite 15-seater, I'm not too sure I can endorse this innovation. But since I visited on a cool, rainy day, I was all too happy to have a go at some of the hot food.
The miso ($2) was hearty and fortifying, with large pieces of tofu and seaweed. And there's a large assortment of teriyaki here, including "hot spicy" chicken teriyaki. I had regular chicken teriyaki ($5.25), which comes with steamed rice, a salad with a yummy ginger dressing and a choice of broccoli, mushroom, dumplings or egg cake. Perfect for lunch or a light not-too-heavy dinner.
All food is made to order, but Lee plans to have a refrigerated sushi case in the near future.
Sono Motoyama's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.