STOpen 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Monday. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. On street parking, only. Accessible to the handicapped.

We were feeling adventurous one night and decided to try Japanese food - not the Americanized steak house version, but the real thing: Sushi, Sashimi, Teriyaki and the like. We had heard that Mikado was moderately priced and was one of the better Japanese restaurants around.

The restaurant is small and quite. The waitresses and hostess, outfitted in kimonos with bright blue obi sashes, move about with tiny steps. The decor is restful and simple - clean lines, a minimum of decorative artifacts. We arrived at 7:30 on a Thursday evening and were seated at what turned out to be the last available table. By the time we left at 8:30, several people were waiting to be seated.

When we opened the menu, we knew we were going to need help. There were several kinds of Sushi (raw fish), Tempura (batter coated, deep fried foods) and other dishes that sound exotic, maybe too much so for our first time out. There was Nameko, mushroom with grated radish; Takosu, cooked octopus in seasoned sauce; and Natto, fermented soy beans.

Our daughter, 11, had an easier time with the menu than we did.She spotted Ebi-tempura, deep fried shrimp, and was ready to order. Fried shrimp is one of her long standing favorites.

My husband and I asked the waitress for guidance. She suggested we try a Teriyaki (broiled chicken, beef or fish in a seasoned sauce) or one of the noodle dishes. Asn an appetizer, she suggested sharing either a chicken or spinach dish.

We started out with a Saki wine at $1.75 a glass and Kirin beer at a $1.20 a bottle. The Saki is served either hot, room temperature or on the rocks. I opted for the rocks and found the drink stronger than my usual glass of wine. My husband loved the beer.

Next came small garden salads served in pretty wooden bowls. The bowls were filled with crisp romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes. The only dressing available was a house dressing which was delicious.

While we were eating out salads, the waitress brought out order of Yakitori, chicken and scallions on a skewer. The Yakitori, which was priced at $2.95, had been broiled in a seasoned sauce similar to soy suace. It came with three skewers, each with three pieces of bite-sized chicken on it. It was perfect for the three of us and even more delicious than the salad.

Our daughter's shrimp Tempura arrived next - six delicate shrimp, batter fried and sizzling hot, served on a small wicker tray. Seasoned sauce for dipping came in an accompanying bowl. My husband had ordered Nabeyaki-udon, a noodle dish that came with two shrimp tempura, chicken, vegetables, a poached egg and fish cake. It was served in a covered pottery bowl which was set on top of a beautiful wooden box.

The bowl was filled with a rich hearty soup, thick noddles and the pieces of shrimp, chicken, fish and vegetable. Though the name of the dish was exotic, it was a very simple entree and one anyone familiar with won ton soup would feel comfortable with. The Nabeyaki-udon was $4.50. The salad my husband had ordered was extra, at $1.25.

I tried the fish Teriyaki.The waitress said the fish that night was flounder. It was served on a small ceramic dish, lightly broiled and well seasoned in a soy-like sauce. The fish Teriyaki was $5.45 and included a salad. We ordered one bowl of rice to share between my daughter and myself. It was 75 cents.

The restaurant offers dessert - ice cream or cake - but we decided not to have any. Our bill, which included two, one Saki, two extra salads (the Tempura does not come with a salad), one appetizer and three entrees, came to $26.15.

Although we ordered familiar-sounding dishes on our first visit, we found the food so good and so well prepared tht we thought we'd venture further afield next time.

Open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Monday. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. On street parking, only. Accessible to the handicapped.