Lunch 11:30 am-2 pm Monday-Friday and noon-3 pm Saturday, dinner 5-10 pm daily. $$ Moderate.
[JAPANESE] An izakaya is a Japanese pub, and both the food and the atmosphere here are an upscale version of what you might find in a Kyoto roadhouse. The vast menu includes dishes you don’t see often around here, such as okonomiyaki ($7.50), a savory little pancake made with seafood, vegetables and pork, topped with a scrumptious yellow sauce and bonito flakes. If they have it, ask for the hamachi kama yaki ($15), broiled yellowtail cheek; if they don’t, the saba shioyaki ($7.50) makes a good substitute: half a grilled mackerel, with crisp skin hiding firm, juicy flesh. Of course, there’s also sushi. Be sure to try the special rolls, particularly if amberjack nigiri ($5.25) is available. The sashimi platter is a round-the-world raw-fish adventure, though it’s a bumpy ride (seared tuna? Yes! Octopus? Kinda chewy). Everything is presented gorgeously; the only weak point (besides inefficient staff) is some of the fish itself. Syun does the most it can with what it has; if the salmon is a little bland, well, at least it’s beautiful. This being a pub, there’s a huge sake selection. Choosing is tough, but the flights ($12-$18) are a handy solution. Don’t skip dessert; the banana tempura ($4.95) might be the best thing on the menu. BECKY OHLSEN.
Ideal meal: Special sushi rolls, okonomiyaki, a sake flight and banana tempura.
Best deal: The basic sashimi plate ($22.50) is loaded.