Sam and I love izakaya food – it’s like Japanese tapas but more substantial and down-to-earth. Whether in DC, NYC, or Vancouver we are on the lookout for good izakaya places. Our favorite in the world so far is Kingyo in Vancouver. I’ve been meaning to check out Izakaya Sozai for months now, and I am so glad we did. A typical izakaya dish is takoyaki – battered and fried octopus balls in tonkatsu sauce, topped with mayonnaise sauce, seaweed laver, and dried bonito flakes.
Grilled mochi wrapped in bacon, one of several types of yakitori on the menu.
We were a bit skeptical that an izakaya place would do tonkotsu ramen well, but we were pleasantly surprised. We added barbeque pork belly and spicy miso to add some kick. The broth was rich and creamy and the noodles al dente – as any good bowl of ramen should be. Sam and I thought they had some of the best ramen we’ve had so far in the city.
Here is one of my favorite dishes we ordered – spicy tuna on crispy rice with teriyaki balsamic sauce. I am surely going to return regularly, especially for their happy hour specials. Izakaya Sozai will be a nice placeholder between our trips to Vancouver.