Its been ages since I’ve returned to Tampopo, Daniel Choe and family’s homey little Japanese restaurant on the Lincoln Avenue stretch of Koreatown. The place is so welcoming, budget friendly, and consistently delicious that I can’t explain why I’ve stayed away so long. The meal we put together was perfect relief to the cold, snowy mess outside–tempura green beans, goma ae, age dashi tofu, natto maki, chicken katsu, broiled squid with ginger sauce (ika shoga yuki). But Choe really stunned us when he brought out a smoked salmon skin maki (pictured) This is an occasional item, constructed with skin flayed from the fish he uses for his Philly roll. The three adults in the group were so overpowered by the twin powers of its crackly core and smoky perfume we ate through two more orders before we came back to earth.