Porter Square Shops has the perfect little food court because it’s full of decently priced Japanese cuisine. Aside from my love of Korean food, I also have a deep affection for Japanese eats. Sushi everyday please? For the non-locals reading (and maybe some locals who don’t know), this is the place to go when you want some authentic tasting Japanese food under $20. It’s steps away from the Porter Square MBTA station and housed in a Lesley University building.
(Rice Ball – 1 cooked tuna filling, 1 seasoned kelp filling)
I ended up at the Ittyo stall/corner after the Sapporo ramen stall turned me away because they had to close for their lunch break from 3-4pm =(. Yes, I had a hunger attack between lunch and dinner. Luckily Ittyo was open. It ended up being my early dinner because I was so full afterwards. I almost always order a set meal when I end up eating at Ittyo because it allows me to have a bunch of different things instead of just choosing one.
My usual set comes with a giant bowl of udon noodles, 2 onigiri (rice balls with various filling), and your choice of either potato croquette, kaki (fried oyster) or karaage (Japanese style fried chicken). The udon noodles are thinner than your average udon, with a clean tasting soup that’s not heavy. I always end up with leftovers so my new plan of attack was to save the onigiri for my late night snack and finish everything else. Onigiri hold up pretty well even after several hours (this must be why it’s a popular bento box item for Japanese schoolchildren).
There are 2 onigiri rice balls here – 1 filled with a sort of tuna salad mixture (think old school canned tuna salad sandwich) and 1 filled with a seasoned kelp mixture. I prefer the seasoned kelp one.
Kaki (Fried Oyster)
Can’t go wrong with the fried stuff…I also tried a bite of their tonkatsu, which was decent but nothing to rave about.
Tonkatsu (Fried Pork Cutlet)
Overall, Ittyo is a great choice if you’re in the mood for some soup noodles, or you don’t want to wait in line for the ever popular Sapporo and Yume Wo Kotare ramen places (Yume is right outside Porter). Just note that Ittyo does not sell ramen – just yummy udon and some other staple Japanese dishes.
Ittyo (inside Porter Square, Lesley University Exchange building) 1815 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02140