The exquisite three-piece lunchtime starters are one of LULI’s great draws. Different each time you go, it could be any creative combination of seafood, vegetables, and meat that you could imagine. Lunch goes until 2pm, and a ¥900 pasta lunch will get you a choice from three pastas, a drink, and a gourmet starter containing three of these delicious morsels. Portion sizes are just right. If dining at dinner time, try a steak dish with a choice red from their ample wine list. They also offer all-you-can-drink and course menus. The half-dome-shaped dining area is beautifully spacious and naturally lit. The green, creeper vines hanging down over the curtains offer an alfresco vibe without being exposed to the elements. Service is second-to-none.
Open: Lunch 11:30am–2pm; Dinner 5pm–10pm • Price Range: ¥900–¥3,000 • Access: JR Osakatemmangu Stn or Minamimorimachi Subway Stn, Exit 4, 3-min walk • Search “LULI Osaka” on tabelog.com/en • Facebook: Search LULI-unique-ristorante
Open for dinner only, the don’t-miss dish at Barcelona is the carbonara sizzled in the big cheese – literally a giant wheel of Parmesan cheese heated with a blowtorch, brought to your table for the dish to be prepared right under your nose. A truly mouth-watering experience. There is plenty to choose from when it comes to their extensive wine list – anything to match your delicious Spanish-style tapas. Dishes are to share, service is very down-to-earth, friendly, and accommodating. As most of the seating is comprised of sectioned-off booths, Barcelona is a great restaurant to bring the kids along to, but the privacy of the booths also offers an intimate night out for two.
Open: 5pm–1am • Closed: Sunday • Price Range: ¥1,500–¥2,500 • Access: JR Osakatemmangu Stn or Minamimorimachi Subway Stn, just outside Exit 4-B • tabelog.com/osaka/A2701/A270103/27042874 • Facebook: Search スペイン居酒屋 バルセロナ (supenn izakaya baruserona)
This beautiful, little space really does have a modern mother’s homely touch – lotus flower lamps, big orange, purple, and green cushions, red and cream table runners – and mom herself greets you with hot tea and a blanket as you walk in. Super intimate, and comfortably seating around 15 people, tables seat two people with one arranged for a group of six. Drop by at lunch time and get the layered lunch set for only ¥800, including rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, salmon gratin, salad, and chicken nanban. The food is 100 percent home-style Japanese – nutritious, delicious, and impeccably presented. Möm does have a very respectable wine list though, and a full drinks menu including beer, cocktails, whiskey, shochu, and sake. Mom’s the word.
Open: Lunch 11:30am–3pm; Dinner 5:30pm–10:30pm • Price Range: ¥800–¥2000 • Access: JR Osakatemmangu Stn or Minamimorimachi Subway Stn, Exit 4, 3-min walk • tabelog.com/osaka/A2701/A270103/27070627