Later, I visited Urizun, a dark, smoky izakaya in the capital city of Naha, to begin my deep dive into goya champuru, a bitter melon stir-fry with eggs, tofu, and sometimes pork or Spam, seasoned with dashi and soy sauce and garnished with bonito flakes. Champuru means "mix," referring to the jumble of ingredients and flavors—by turns bitter, salty, sour, sweet, and earthy—that compose this defining Okinawan dish. And the next day I was back in the center of Okinawa-honto, in the town of Kin, home of the U.S. Marine base Camp Hansen and self-proclaimed birthplace of "taco rice," which is your basic Middle America-style ground beef taco, with white rice standing in for the tortilla. Like Spam musubi in Hawaii and budae jjigae in Korea, taco rice is a Western-Asian hybrid dish, born of a strong American military presence here, and people in Okinawa love it. The plate I tried at King Taco was tasty, but once was enough—I didn't feel the need to spend any more time passing the Old El Paso.