This Asian kitchen and bar in Ottawa lifts its name directly from the Japanese term that means an establishment that serves food to accompany drinks. So, there’s certainly no ambiguity as to what to expect when you go to Izakaya. However, if not well-versed in Japanese cuisine, you may be surprised to find more than just sushi and tempura vegetables. And that’s a good thing. Izakaya’s slaw (made with more than 15 fresh ingredients, including mango, jicama and avocado) and their bibimbap, a fresh recreation of the classic Korean rice bowl, have quickly become favourites. They also have an extensive raw menu and a number of creative cocktails. Plus, DJs change the vibe on weekends, and they host live music on Thursday nights.
• 339 Elgin St., 613-627-4140, izakayaottawa.com
• Map and review