Does the lighting enhance the food? Not in this case. Credit: Ed Fisher

There are situations in which candlelight is appropriate, such as seances, or an episode of The Red Shoe Diaries. The sensual aspects of a meal at Sunshine Cafe, on the other hand, tend toward the gustatory, and not just because of the light, which does shine a bit garish. (It brings out the facial blemishes.) Consider it a foil for the comprehensive awesomeness of everything else about this place: the superfriendly staff and the primally comfortable home-style Japanese cuisine. The menu comprises four categories: small dishes (some badass potato croquettes), noodles (light, cold soba with a zingy dipping sauce), entrees (broiled fish, sukiyaki), and donburi—different cuts of meat in sauce over rice. I might advance a theory that oyako don, containing both the chicken and the egg, represents life itself; it sure tastes like it. It’s the perfect tonic for a chilly night, a lingering cold, a heavy heart.