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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Situated on the road between Yokota’s main gate and Fussa station, The Demode Heaven is a restaurant you could walk by a hundred times on the way to and from the train and never go inside. But that would be a big mistake.

One of the first things to catch your eye upon entering the restaurant is how big it is. Seating is available in two indoor levels and on an outside patio area complete with a fountain.

The Demode Heaven’s décor is best described as a mix of a 1950s-style diner with a touch of neo-soul, it may sound a little strange, but it works. The interior is well lit and comfortable, with an eclectic mix of American rock music playing in the background.

Drinks are reasonably priced by Japanese standards and the drink menu features a wide variety of mixed drinks, from rum and cokes and screwdrivers to cassis and oolong tea. The mixed drinks were sometimes a little weak, but not outrageously so.

The menu boasts an impressive five full pages of tempting dishes. Among the appetizers is a variety of barbecued kebabs — 780 yen will get you a choice of two different meats from a lengthy list.

Main courses include salads, pasta, pizza and burgers. All dishes are very well prepared and provide a different, yet pleasant, take on popular American and Italian dishes. Of special note is their handmade pasta and pizzas with a light crust and no heavy, greasy feel to them. Another dish that must be mentioned is the 1,000 gram hamburger steak, which provides a whole kilogram of beef for 3,800 yen to anyone who feels up to the challenge.

The Demode Heaven’s cafe offers coffee and an awesome selection of desserts. Chocolate-chip cheesecake, brownies and scones were among the selection.

The only real downside to the restaurant was its lone bathroom. It was clean and well-decorated, but only one bathroom in a restaurant this size might not be enough on a busy night.

The Demode Heaven goes for — and achieves — a laid-back American feel complete with English menus, Heinz ketchup, A-1 sauce on every table, and forks and knives instead of chopsticks. A sign on the door advertised that they were hiring wait staff that spoke English and Japanese, another signal that Americans will feel right at home here.

Click here for previous After Hours reviews.

The Demode Heaven

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day.

Prices: Mixed drinks average about 550 yen, beer is around 650 yen. Meals range in price from around 780 to 1,300 yen. The exception is the 1,000 gram hamburger steak for 3,800 yen.

Specialties: Barbecued kebab appetizers, handmade pasta and pizzas and a good selection of burgers.

English menu: Yes.

Dress: Casual.

Clientele: Relaxed, under-35, Japanese crowd.

Location: Head straight out of Yokota’s Fussa Gate and cross Route 16 as if you were walking to Fussa station or the Seiyu department store. Demode Heaven is on the right just before the first set of train tracks.

Web site:www.kiwa-group.co.jp/restaurant/a100077.html


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