In the last few years, I've noticed how popular Izakaya style restaurants have become in the more populated cities in the United States including Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Izakayas are also quite popular in other countries including Sydney, Australia and Dusseldorf, Germany. Vancouver, British Colombia also is home to a number of Izakaya restaurants due to it's Japanese population.
Back in the old days, Izakayas were casual spots in Japan frequented by a mostly male clientele who enjoyed drinking their beer and sake while sharing small plates after work. These days, Izakayas have become quite hip and chic with both women and men going to enjoy this social form of drinking and dining. Although there are still the traditional Izakayas in Japan, there are now many Izakaya spots that offer a fancy well thought out cocktail selection and an impressive wine list.
Izakayas are fantastic because they offer eclectic, delicious and affordable cuisine for everyone to share. You can continuously order additional items through out your meal and if you are particularly loving one dish, more than another, you can feel free to order as many as you'd like.
During my most recent trip to Japan, I enjoyed Izakaya out with my girlfriends in a new hot spot in Yokohama called Tsuki, which translates to Moon in Japanese. The decor in Tsuki was ultra sleek and the view of the Yokohama skyline in certain rooms of the restaurant were absolutely sublime.
Here is a sampling of some of our contemporary Izakaya dishes at Tsuki: