Izakaya Reviews...

SakaMai may not be the kind of place that you can afford to eat every night, but you're going to want to. The food, drinks, atmosphere, and staff make this an absolutely perfect night out. I'd like to come up with a quibble so it doesn't seem like I'm completely biased ... okay, here's one. Read More...

The last thing I expected to find in Texas is an izakaya complete with shochu and while that's not exactly what I found, I did find a relative equivalent in the back of a dirty college dive bar just off the University of Texas campus. The dive bar is Hole in the Wall and the pop-up izakaya is East Side King. Read More...

Otafuku Noodle House is on a nondescript street in an average working class neighborhood in South Los Angeles. The only hint that it might be a good place to eat or drink comes from the smattering of other “authentic” Japanese landmarks in the area. There's another soba house on the corner, the Okinawa Association of America headquarters across the street (a grandiose title for a windowless single story building), and Marukai Pacific Market a few blocks away – a massive Japanese grocer. Read More...

Izakaya Honda Ya is a gem in an unlikely place. It sits on the 3rd floor of a shopping mall in Little Tokyo just east of Downtown LA. When the taxi dropped us off we thought we had the wrong address. There's nothing on the outside to suggest an izakaya awaits inside, but we went into the mall full of closed up boutiques, and took the escalators to the 2nd floor. From there we saw the neon Kirin Beer sign and a gaudy neon “open” sign beckoning to us from the level above. Read More...

There are few places in New York City where you legitimately feel like you could be sitting in Tokyo. Most places are either too big or too small or the proportions of the space are just off in some subtle way. Perhaps there's a Latino bus boy or English signage. There's almost always something that gives away that we're in the U.S. At Tori Shin you have to look very, very closely and the evidence only appeared in early 2012. Read More...

As you climb the stairs you hear the buzz of happy diners. More than likely before you reach the top of the stairs you're met with a line of waiting customers, red Kirin lanterns hanging overhead. Squeeze to the top and you enter the large multi-roomed dining hall of Village Yokocho. Read More...

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