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Okinawa native Mayumi Vargas has singlehandedly taken on the mission of representing her home's distinct food culture, rescuing it from being a mere footnote on Japanese-restaurant menus in our county. And she's not shy in doing it. At Habuya, you'll find everything from pork feet to the beloved bittermelon, what the Okinawans call goya. Both are employed in more than a few dishes: goya embeds a tamago-like omelet with eel, and pork feet are served in a stew or dropped into a bowl of ramen. Then there are the tropical ingredients that make Okinawan food exotic even to those in Tokyo. Shredded green papaya stuffs a crispy egg roll and, Habuya's best dessert, a fresh pineapple sorbet that Vargas has commissioned a specialty ice cream maker to produce just for her restaurant.