I had an amazing dinner at Izakaya Seki with my girlfriends Lauren and Alyssa on 8-16-2017. I’d never been to an izakaya, or Japanese gastropub, before and didn’t know what to expect. Well it was absolutely delicious and a really nice atmosphere.
The ground floor (not pictured) consists of a counter with about 10 seats. Then up a set of stairs is the main dining room with tables and chairs.
The decor was pretty minimalist but not at all cold. I liked it a lot: simple, clean, and kind of quirky.
Obanzai (starting left, clockwise):
Daikon radish salad. This was pickled plus sesame oil. It was so good and had a really bright flavor.
Hijiki (black seaweed, fishcakes). Not surprisingly this had a salty seaweed taste.
Kinpira (burdock, lotus root, chili). This had a really rich, dark, savory flavor that I enjoyed.
Uni (wasabi, egg yolk). This was obviously delicious. The wasabi overpowered the uni a bit but by itself or with the yolk it was great.
Sashimi Moriawase (striped horse mackerel, hamachi, tuna, scallop, surf clam, octopus, cuttlefish). This was awesome in both taste and the texture. The cuttlefish was really dense and the surf clam was chewy while the scallop was soft and pillowy. Also the hamachi was the best I’ve ever had and reminded of ebi.
Kalbi style short ribs. Oh man were these good. They were perfectly cooked and just the right amount of fat to be delicious without being too much. They kind of tasted like teriyaki.
Sablefish (saikyo miso). This was also delicious. It was almost sweet but then the savory notes and char offset that nicely. The pickled tomato was great as was the green sauce (saikyo miso?) on the daikon.
Japanese omelet with eel. So this was basically the best omelet ever. It was fluffier and juicier than tomago and the eel was just fantastic.
Baby octopus. These had great flavor plus were nice and crisp.
Softshell crab. On its own this wasn’t super flavorful but once you added that vinegar-y sauce it was amazing!
Mochi (red bean, candied chestnut). This actually wasn’t that sweet. The red bean was very beany and the candied chestnut, while beautiful, was kind of like a regular chestnut in flavor.
Overall this was a fantastic dinner. I always hear about chefs coming here and I can see why. Everything is kind of simple but using such quality ingredients and so well done. I would definitely go back.