Small, sharing plates are a modern dining trend—and depending on the culture of origin, this tradition is called mezze, tapas, antipasti, or banchan. Now, the newest craze is izakaya, which translates to "stay sake shop" in Japanese. A traditional izakaya in Japan is a casual, reasonably priced gastropub or tavern, centered around drinks first, then small plates such as yakitori skewers, tofu, vegetables, rice balls, soba noodles, and more drinks.
Los Angeles restaurateurs are now putting their personal stamp on the izakaya concept with regards to style, menus and cost. Discover unique izakaya destinations that have opened in the last couple of years, plus one that's opening soon.