Hidden behind frosted glass or slatted, wooden doors, izakaya (the pub's rough equivalent) are where Japan's comfort foods can be found. As well as lots of beer. Modest to the point of near-invisibility, the izakaya advertises its presence with a red, swinging lantern. Sliding open that opaque door can require a bit of bravery. But the warmth and laughter on the other side guarantees that no one will be uncomfortable for long! Once you're inside, kick off your shoes and get comfortable on the tatami floors. Many izakaya don't have English menus, but that's ok. Request what other patrons are enjoying, or employ my personal, favorite strategy- pointing at the menu and seeing what shows up. It's all delicious!
|One of our neighborhood izakaya.|