After Hours: Tsunami
Earlier this year, Rear Adm. James Kelly, at the time the commander of U.S. Navy forces in Japan, had the idea to share an integral bit of American culture — the hamburger — with the local community. He worked with Yokosuka city officials to integrate the Yokosuka Navy Burger into local restaurants, and as belts were loosened a notch, the U.S.-Japan alliance got a bit tighter.
A tasting event was set up the Tsunami Bar and La Costa Restaurant in the Honch bar district.
Today, the establishment features a wide variety of Navy burgers for all tastes.
Located in a former surf shop, the restaurant has a beach vibe with a come-as-you-are feel. Surfboards hang in the rafters, and there’s a DJ booth, pool table and full bar upstairs.
The proprietor also owns Surf Taco, a similar restaurant down the street.
I had the opportunity to check it out during a recent lunch break and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
Originally known for its authentic Mexican cuisine, Tsunami now boasts the title of being the first local establishment to feature the Yokosuka Navy Burger.
Avocado cheeseburger, Mexican burger, chili-bean burger, Hawaiian burger and samurai burger are just a few of the options now available.
Available in quarter or half-pound models, the 100 percent beef burgers are enough to fill any appetite.
The seasoned fries or Buffalo wings make a perfect accompaniment.
The restaurant still features all the authentic Mexican cuisine such as enchiladas, taquitos, salads, carne asada and fish tacos that made it a local favorite.
An extensive drink menu and spacious setting make the spot an ideal after-work choice for anyone looking to wind down.
The downstairs dining room is non-smoking, while the bar upstairs allows it.
Overall, it was definitely a surprise find right outside the base and a place I look to return to in the near future.
Some say it’s hard to do a burger wrong, but Tsunami has worked hard to make sure they do it right.
Hours: La Costa: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Tsunami: 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and as late as 5 a.m. on weekends.
Prices: Appetizers 500 to 1,000 yen; entrees 600-1,600 yen; beers 600 yen; mixed drinks 600-700 yen
Specialties: Authentic Mexican and burgers
English menu: Yes
Clientele: Lunch, even mix of Japanese and Americans; late night, mostly American
Directions: 2-1-9 Honcho. Walk out the main gate at Yokosuka Naval Base and cross the street. Turn right on Dobuita Street and the restaurant will be on your right.
Web site: None