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8.5
DEN

Izakaya Den

Izakaya Den is a gorgeous, two-story space that’s lit like a David Fincher film and has one of the best patios in town. This place has atmosphere in spades, something that's fairly unusual outside of downtown. It’s straight up sexy - like silk sheets, candles, and Jodeci on shuffle sexy. If you’ve been looking for a new date spot, you can stop looking.

As you might have already heard, the food is top-notch too. There’s something at Izakaya Den to please everyone, and dishes like the duck croquettes and tan-tan men noodles are particularly impressive. Also impressive is the fact that Izakaya Den has carved out its own identity while living in the shadow of its beloved older brother Sushi Den. Luckily, the service matches the decor and the food. During our visits, two separate managers came by to check on us and make sure everything was good. That's the kind of attention to customer satisfaction that's all too rare these days.

Rare like Jodeci.

Food Rundown

Jalapeño Sashimi
Big, fat slices of kanpachi (amberjack) with delicious yuzu soy dressing and thinly sliced jalapeno that keep the heat level in check. Are you eating this right now? You should be.

Sushi
As the little brother to Sushi Den, you know the sushi is going to be good at Izakaya. Whether it’s sashimi, the eel sauced caterpillar roll, or the red dragon roll with seared tuna on top, you won’t be disappointed.

Yellowtail Collar (Hamakama)
Big fish with a damn good neck. Try pouring the ponzu sauce over instead of dipping so the meat doesn’t fall apart. Great balance of crispy and soft textures.

Miso Black Cod
A perfectly flaky piece of white fish glazed with a thick and tasty miso sauce.

Duck Croquettes
F*ck yes. We could eat these like donut holes, though we probably wouldn't recommend it on a date. Then again, try it, and if it goes over well, propose.

Crispy Tuna
A light and delicious starter with all the eel sauce and roe you could want. There’s a nice mix of crispy rice cake and silky tuna and avocado going on here and we dig it.

Duck Udon
Fat udon noodles and juicy duck breast, served in what appears to be an ancient metal pot. Get it. You’ll feel like a damn samurai.

Tan-tan Men
A street food cousin to the fancier duck udon and similar to Chinese Dandan noodles, this dish came highly recommended by our server. He was right to steer us this way, because these noodles are incredible. Add a soft egg on top.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
We don’t usually have dessert at Japanese spots, but this buttery, pineapple cake is excellent. We're also in love with the lychee ice cream. No more vanilla, ever.

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