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Galali

Review excerpt: In terms of genre, Galali neatly straddles the divide between the traditional izakaya and its modern, Westernized equivalent, the dining bar (or, as it’s too often misnomered, “dinning bar”). The look at Galali is chic and understated; the customers are young professionals drawn from the Aoyama/Harajuku areas; and it stays open till the wee hours. But the architecture and menu are unmistakably Japanese.

It’s a freestanding two-story house embellished with vertical wooden slats down the outside in retro-modern machiya style. Stylish conical lanterns cast a soft light over the narrow alley to the front door. Inside, timber predominates, from the bar counter and large table downstairs to the open-plan stairs and furniture in the second floor dining room where you sit beneath exposed roof beams. A row of sake magnums adorns a backlit alcove along a plain white wall. From the narrow counter at the back you glimpse the lights of the city. This is a space that is quintessential modern Tokyo.