The TV screens were showing a fight – no, not a fight between two men, but a fight between a man and a creature that was half-lobster, half-man. Welcome to On the Bridge in San Francisco’s Japantown, a restaurant for Japanese anime lovers. Manga (Japanese graphic novels) fill the bookshelves and stuffed anime characters and artwork decorate the back counter. Instead of sports, every TV screen features some anime show. In the midst of all this, there’s a restaurant serving homestyle Japanese cooking.
From what I could tell, there seemed to be one lone chef in the kitchen, busily preparing dishes – quite a feat considering how extensive the menu is. On the Bridge has everything from curries to noodles to pizzas (with bonito flakes and seaweed, drizzled with Kewpie mayonnaise – yes, you read that right) to pastas and much more. Most people seemed to be eating the Loco Moco, that Hawaiian dish with a hamburger patty, topped with gravy, while watching One Punch Man.
We stuck to more traditional Japanese dishes. The kake soba was much better than expected with shaved bonito flakes.
The curries at Under the Bridge were not what I expected. Usually Japanese curries have a very thick sauce blanketing the meat and vegetables, making a terrific accompaniment to a bed of rice. Instead, the vegetables came in a light curry sauce, which was a total surprise. I prefer the traditional thick curry sauce, but as I was about to board a plane, this curry probably sat better. Plus, since it wasn’t so heavy, the dish was healthier than the normal curry, with more emphasis on vegetables than sauce.
To be honest, I’m not sure I would ever go here again, unless we were starving and the other restaurants had insane waits. However, if you are an anime lover and are looking for a casual restaurant for a bite to eat, you’ll feel right at home at On the Bridge.
Location – 1581 Webster St. Ste 205, San Francisco 94115
Website – none
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes