Tokyo Food Page
Zaian/
Ikebukuro: Izakaya
¥5957-2207
¤Data
The funky basement
space and sixties-
jazz soundtrack give
this cozy little
izakaya the relaxed
atmosphere of a
neighborhood drink-
ing spot. The food
menu offers good,
solid fare - down-
to-earth rather than
fancy, and especial-
ly strong in daily
fish specials, sea-
sonal vegetables and
grilled pork dishes.


The main reason to
come here, though,
is the impressive
sake list - several
dozen labels from
small regional brew-
eries, often includ-
ing multiple varie-
ties from the same
brewery. Sake is
served either in 1-
go tokkuri or by the
100ml glass, so you
can put together
your own tasting
flights and sample a
good assortment of
brews over the
course of an eve-
ning.

In addition to the
regular sake menu
there's a page of
seasonal, limited-
edition specials, a
small but respect-
able shochu list,
and an intriguing
display of colorful
fruit liqueurs in
glass jars. At
lunchtime Zaian
draws in the crowds
with their famous
spicy udon noodle
dish, Shisen Tantan-
men, which has been
featured in numerous
magazines. Budget
around Y4000-5000 in
the evening for
ample food and
drink; cash only.
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Higashi-Ikebukuro
1-31-1, Barack Court
B1F.  Open 11:
30am-2, 5pm-midnight
(LO). Closed
Mondays.
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