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Popular Japanese dining destination Biwa is probably the last place you’d expect to find a happy hour burger, but show up after 10 p.m. and you’ll discover one of the most unique and flavorful offerings in the entire city.
This deftly prepared 6 oz. beef patty is seasoned with salt and pepper, then given a tasty twist with the addition of garlic, ginger and soy sauce. All these elements are set off nicely with a healthy layer of kimchi mayonnaise, but the real star of the show is the thinly sliced house-made chasyu pork, which spirals in perfect formation over top of the patty, adding another layer of complexity that will make you thoughtfully savor each and every bite.
Nearby sandwich shop Meat Cheese Bread supplies the bun, which plays its role well as a supporting actor to the variety of flavors it holds together, and the plate is finished off with a small portion of picked onions and carrots and a side of potato salad.
Buried in Biwa’s hot plates list you’ll find karaage, which is typically a marinated, fried meat, and here manifests as a delicious little Japanese fried-chicken bar snack. The dish consists of fried chicken crisplets, served with a bowl of spicy yellow Japanese mustard as your only accoutrement. Well, not your only one—spritz that wedge of lemon over the chicken before you dive in for an extra citric oomph that pairs beautifully with the curry-, garlic- and onion powder-seasoned meat. And get there (relatively) early: This is one of the dishes not offered on Biwa’s late-night menu.