Tanuki stays true to the izakaya pub-grub tradition with a fine selection of sake and sake-based cocktails in a laid-back, casual atmosphere—but don't think for a second they've forgotten about the food. Izakya staples such as kushiyaki—literally stuff on sticks—are a far cry from your typical mundane chicken on a bamboo skewer. The unagi, for instance, is eel grilled to the point of such tenderness that each piece—we kid you not—dissolves in your mouth. The savory seafood pancake, okonomiyaki, is partially deconstructed for you on the plate, quartered and layered over tangy tomato- and creamy mayonnaise-based sauces, with heaps of shaved bonito flakes piled on top. The truly adventurous can let the kitchen decide what they get served and order the chef's choice omakase. The menu changes constantly because Tanuki tries to source its menu locally and seasonally when possible—a preoccupation with ingredients that's evident in each bite of their dishes.

IDEAL MEAL: Gohan no oshinko (rice with a variety of housemade pickles), shottsuru buta boro (braised pork shoulder wrapped in a crispy crêpe).