If you like Okinawan food and enjoy trying new craft beers, this casual basement izakaya is well worth a visit. Along with a selection of well-prepared Okinawan fare you can choose from nine rotating taps of craft beers, representing multiple Okinawan craft breweries.
The Okinawan standards on the menu seem a bit lighter and more refined than usual - champuru stir-fries are less oily than average, while the rafti (pork stew) is rich and fatty but not overly sweet. Umibudo ("sea grapes") are served very fresh and crunchy (and in decent-size portions), and the jimami (peanut tofu) has a nice clean flavor to it, with a pleasantly glutinous consistency like a thick pudding.
The menu features a number of dishes showcasing Agu pork, an Okinawan heirloom breed of pig, including cutlets and several kinds of sausage. Tapas-style menu items include garlicky ajillo dishes, where ingredients like prawns, goya and Spam, shallots and octopus are simmered in hot oil and spiced up with Okinawan hot peppers.
The beer line-up when we visited featured some solid choices from Nanto and Miyakojima breweries as well as some entertaining novelties made with goya (bitter melon) and shikuwasa (a tropical citrus fruit). Beers come in two sizes and start at around Y490.
The dining room is quite casual in style, with old-fashioned diner-style tables. Staff are friendly and service is efficient. Budget around Y3000 for food and drink at dinnertime.
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.