Izakayas...

Let me preface this by saying I've never operated a cash register and I've never worked in the food service industry a day in my life. But that didn't stop the fine folks at SakaMai (157 Ludlow Street, NYC) from opening up their Pour Bar for me to host their first Shochu Tuesday Happy Hour last night, April 30th from 6-8pm. 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...

Omoide Yokocho, or Piss Alley, in Shinjuku, Tokyo, is a narrow series of pedestrian streets full of tiny izakayas (taverns). Having stayed in Shinjuku on my first visit to Tokyo, I had no idea this place existed - and less than 5 minutes walk from my hotel. Few of the izakayas have tables with most content to have patrons sit on stools along the bar, which serves as both a bar and an open kitchen. Even fewer of these places have doors. Read More...

While this past summer's shochu tour was a deep education into the production and culture surrounding shochu in the Prefectures around Kyushu, this winter's trip to Tokyo was a crash course in the depth and breadth of izakaya culture in Japan's largest city. Read More...

Let's have a virtual party! Sign up for mobli on your iphone or android and post photos or video from New Years Eve in your city. 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...

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