Grub Street

As New York does with almost everything, the city has taken the basic idea of an izakaya — a Japanese drinking den that's very in line with the now-passé notion of a gastropub — and made it wholly its own. Sapporo, sake, and shochu are constants, but a crop of nouveau-izakayas are taking risks when it comes to the food menus: Modernized dishes like miso-maple salmon head appear alongside more familiar small plates like rice balls, fried tofu, and stir-fried pork belly. Places like Chez Sardine and SakaMai may not be traditional, but they're fulfilling a desire for no-fuss eating and marathon drinking. Yet these new kids shouldn't overshadow the more established (and authentic) izakayas around town. We've rounded up a few of our favorites in the city ...

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