Dragonfish Asian Café is celebrating its 14th birthday by giving a gift to Ishinomaki, Japan, a city devastated by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed in Ishinomaki, hometown of Dragonfish owner Takao Kikuchi's wife, Yuko Abe. Kikuchi estimates half the town was leveled by the series of natural disasters.
This week, Dragonfish will donate proceeds from three drinks on its new cocktail menu, created by Kathy Casey Food Studios, to Ishinomaki's Chamber of Commerce. Abe's parents are active in the organization.
While Kikuchi hasn't returned to Ishinomaki, Abe has spent six weeks there since March. "She dreams about the tsunami," Kikuchi says. According to Abe, townspeople are eager to begin rebuilding, but are waiting for government officials to complete basic infrastructure repair.
"They cleared the main road, but this city is covered by mud and dead fish and dead human bodies," Kikuchi says.
In addition to the cocktail fund-raiser, Kikuchi also plans to donate 20 percent of his Saturday sales to the cause. He's scheduled a Japanese whiskey tasting for Saturday evening; all proceeds from the event will benefit Ishinomaki.
Tickets to the 5 p.m. tasting are $35. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample snacks from the restaurant's new menu, which debuted last month.
"There's squid-ink pasta, which is my favorite," Kikuchi says. "And tempura bacon. It's a great bar snack."