With a decade under its belt, the Near Southside’s only izakaya concept continues to buzz with an energy that makes the sleek shotgun space a favorite hang in the hood. Best from an unpretentious maki selection is the Hamachi Zest Garlic, a roll combining salmon, asparagus, yellowtail, lemon zest, and roasted garlic, with a little ponzu. Good shareables include small plates of brown butter–baked enoki and shimeji mushrooms, puffy buns wrapped around beer-braised pulled pork, and fried tofu. Easily as delicious as it is fun, the okonomiyaki is a supple, lightly fried cabbage-and-egg pancake topped with pieces of pork belly, kewpie mayo, scallions, and feathery, waving dried bonito flakes. Sakes and Japanese whiskeys are options, but we’re partial to the herbaceous gin-spiked lavender lemonade.
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A blend of sushi bar and cocktail lounge with elevated Japanese cuisine.