My thoughts exactly, Etta.
Montreal has been in desperate need of a quality izakaya for years. Montreal's also been in desperate need of good ramen for years. Now, in the cozy confines of Kazu, we have both.
fig. c: Japanes styl!
As you can see, our friends at Kazu are very much open for business. And, as you can see, Kazu touts itself as a "Japanes styl Bar" with an izakaya menu. That menu is extensive for dinner, short and sweet for lunch. A recent lunchtime selection included everything from a tuna & salmon rice bowl, to a 48-hour pork bowl, both of them substantial, both of them fresh and tasty. At $9, the pork bowl was a particularly generous portion, but it left me thinking that I'd be all too happy to fork over $10-$12 if they'd include a poached egg. That would push the dish from the exceptional to the ethereal.
The other major offering was the superlative ramen bowl featured up top. The pork belly was buttery, the broth simple and satisfying, and the noodles were homemade (!). Kazu's ramen wasn't the most adventurous bowl of ramen I've ever had--it was more along the lines of "classic"--but it was a bowl of ramen I could imagine becoming a serious habit.
And if all that wasn't enough, Kazu makes its own soft-serve ice cream. Yes!
One of my fellow luncheoners had closed down the joint the night before at 9:30 pm-10:00 pm and was back again by 12:30 pm the next day. After my meal, I fully understood why. Later that day, I saw the same fellow luncheoner cycling with abandon towards centre-ville. "Let me guess: you're going back to Kazu?", I cried, as he flew by. When he slammed on the brakes and came back to talk to me, he claimed that he was actually heading somewhere else, to a certain dumpling specialist in the Concordia ghetto, but I'm pretty sure that if I'd followed him, he would have led me to Kazu. And, again, I'd fully understand why...
fig. d: specials!
Some of us have been waiting for Kazu for a long, long time.
Kazu, 1862 Ste. Catherine W., 937-2333
PS--Helpful hint: taking a friend to Kazu for lunch makes for an awesome birthday gift.