Daikaya may get more press for its Sapporo-style ramen, but Izakaya, the Japanese-style tavern upstairs, is every bit as worthy of a visit. Prepare to stay longer—long enough to check out the cocktails, built to match the boundary-pushing culinary machinations of chef Katsuya Fukushima, a protégé of both José Andrées and Ferran Adrià. The “sake bomb,” a gelatin-like sphere of sake and yuzu juice, doesn’t bend when dropped into a Sapporo but literally explodes once it’s in your mouth; the Sesame Street combines Beniotome sesame shochu, ginger beer, yuzu and Angostura bitters. Then move onto the sake and shochu list, which beverage director Lukas Smith has helpfully organized by characteristics (“complex and full-bodied” and “aromatic and fragrant”), making it easier to find something to go with your grilled avocado with ponzu or cold-steamed chicken breast with sesame-tofu sauce and mustard greens.
705 Sixth St. NW, Washington D.C.
This story appears in the print issue of June 2014.
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