By Priya Konings
When I went over to Izakaya Seki for a TASTE TEST I was surprised to discover a small and simple venue, with just a handful of bar seats downstairs, and barely a dozen tables upstairs. The small space in no way indicates small flavors. Izakaya Seki offers bright, sharp ingredients in its assortment of rice dishes, noodles, salads, and fried dishes.
The menu offers a series of small plates; typical for a Japanese izakaya where people in Japan usually go after work for a small bite and lots of sake. While in Japan the food at an izakaya is not supposed to make an entire meal, at Izakaya Seki there are enough menu items that you will most certainly be stuffed—as long as you sample enough of them. Each dish is equally as good as the next so you will be inclined to keep ordering. The dishes are perfect for sharing, so come with friends who like to share.
Some of the best dishes on the menu include the fried rice, which is a sticky, garlicky affair; the pickled cauliflower, tart and cirtrusy with a dash of saffron and shredded carrots; tempura, which is a crunchy medley of Japanese veggies including sweet potatoes, lotus root, and shisto peppers; assorted mushrooms that are drenched in butter and tossed with chives; the fried tofu which is crunchy on the inside and soft on the inside, almost like delicate crispy dumplings; and both the daikon salad and the lotus root salads are fresh and crunchy, and tossed in a slightly sweet, slightly sour, vinegar infused dressing. For dessert, traditional Japanese desserts like mochi are available. Saki is a must, and of course Japanese beer and whiskey are in abundance.
Come on a weekday so you can avoid a long wait, although this gem is worth the wait.