Inevitably, your eyes will be drawn to the grill pit at the far end of the kitchen — safely screened behind see-through plexiglass to avert any wayward sparks. Here, the resident grillmeister tends to his cuts of fish, chicken and vegetables. Instead of grilling ...

Once a tradesman’s store, this two-story timber-frame house has had new life breathed into it, reincarnated as an izakaya tavern. Unlike its neighbors, many of which offer boisterous carousing and entertainments of a rather more dubious nature, Tamayura is quiet, wholesome and entirely welcoming.

Besides those delicious oysters (both domestic and imported; pictured right), Bakushu-an also has a good selection of obanzai, prepared side dishes both hot and cold.

Cheerful and modern, at lunch it offers simple teishoku set meals. Then in the evening, it morphs into a bustling izakaya tavern where the hearty dishes are washed down with liberal volumes of sake, and the air fills with cigarette smoke and laughter.

The term “izakaya,” loosely translated, means “a place where you can settle in with sake.” But that glosses over the two other essential attributes: the food; and the atmosphere, the buzz, what the Irish might call the craic. Okagesan boasts all three — sake, ...

If tasting is believing, then the place to do that is at the Nihonbashi Dashi Bar. This small self-service counter on the ground floor of the Coredo Muromachi building (right across the street from the main Mitsukoshi Department Store) offers two kinds of dashi ...

Review excerpt: Essentially, Kotaro is an izakaya, a tavern where sake and food share equal billing, and both are there to accompany conversation and relaxation at the end of the day. But don’t arrive expecting boisterous revelry and red-faced salarymen drinking cheap highballs. Here ...

Review excerpt: Occupying the ground floor of its owner’s home, the seating area and kitchen are crammed into a tiny space, and even the handwritten daily menu is crowded onto a small blackboard. When deciding what to try, it’s best to follow the whims, ...

Tottuan in Fukushima — the gullet of Osaka — is firmly in the glasnost category. It’s a squat boxy restaurant with big windows that look out onto the street on one side, a snack bar at the entrance and a thoroughfare on the other ...

This place is lively, but also roomy and comfortable compared with many of Tokyo’s hole-in-the-wall kushiage joints. Dengana also has an unusually long list of vegetarian items — I counted at least 16 options — including one that’s a bit of a rare find: ...

One of the tastiest things on the menu at 3 Stories Bar, other than the original taco rice (¥680 excluding tax), is the banana in egg roll wrapping, which is fried and served with a side of vanilla ice cream (¥580 excluding tax). It ...

Put pesto with fried potatoes of this standard accompanied by cream cheese and you might pass out from umami overload. It’s enough to inspire poetry, or bad haikus.

Notice: Event and location information is subject to change.