Izakayas...

  Japanese love their parties and they love their drinks. To show just how much, they have both a bonenkai (忘年会) and shinnenkai (新年会) parties. Bonenkai is a party to “forget” the past year, usually held in December. Shinnenkai is a party to welcome the new year, usually coinciding with the lunar (Chinese) new year. We had the good fortune to be invited to the Sake Shinnenkai hosted by certified sake sommelier (Kiki-Sake-Shi きき酒師) Chizuko Niikawa (photo on lower right) of Sake Discoveries. The event was held at Kasadela, a lovely izakaya in the Lower East Side (11th… Read More...

Izakaya Ten may be the perfect combination of food, drink, and atmosphere in New York City. The izakaya vibe is as lively as anywhere. Read More...

Inakaya is in the ground floor of the New York Times building (231 West 40th Street, just past the Muji store off 8th Ave) near Times Square in Manhattan. If that seems like an unlikely place for an izakaya, it is. This robataya is the U.S. outpost of a Roppongi izakaya of the same name. The “tourism” comes in with their presentation. Food is fussily handed to bar customers and the waitstaff via long wooden handled trays across a wide bar that is decorated with today’s fresh ingredients. Oh and the demonstration making mochi rice balls in which… Read More...

Yakitori Charcoal
If you’ve had yakitori, you know what a treat it can be. Grilled (yaki) skewers of chicken (tori) basted in a savory-sweet sauce or salted (shio) just so. Most yakitori places, at least in the New York City area, are drinking houses first and eateries second. Places like Kenka or Yakitori Taisho (and sister Oh! Taisho) or Village Yokocho. It’s telling that all 4 of those places are within a one block radius and all are within a few minutes walk from most of the NYU dorms. These are places to share pitchers of beer and simple food on the… Read More...

Good friends, good food, good shochu.   Kampai!  … Read More...

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