I like meats on sticks, and I especially like kushiyaki, which is the Japanese version of shish kebabs. I prefer my kushiyaki seasoned with salt instead of soy sauce. But I didn't mind whatever came my way when I sat down for a 2.5-hour dinner with a good friend of mine on Thursday at Nanbankan. Winding down a long week that took its toll emotionally and mentally on me, I met my friend for a delightfully long and honest girl talk. When we weren't chatting, we noshed on cold sake, grilled chicken meatballs, green beans and burdock root wrapped in bacon and triangle-shaped rice balls that were stuffed with dried bonito, seaweed and sesame seeds and then grilled over an open flame. The waitress tilted the chilled bottle of sake over the glass until the clear liquid flowed over the brim and formed a little puddle on the saucer under the glass. Of the two sakes we tried, the Harushika was dry and crisp while the Kubota Senju was fruity and light. My neighbors sitting to the right of me said their cocktail choice, Otoko no yama, was a light and smooth libation. After I scooped up the last bit of lychee ice cream and emptied the complimentary cup of green tea that was offered at the end of the meal, I forgot exactly what were the boy troubles that led me to meeting my friend in the first place.