My Zakaya owner Maria Uchida says going to an izakaya should feel like being welcomed to a friend’s house. My Zakaya feels like being welcomed not only into Uchida’s home but her friendship as well. The gregarious manager says she got into the restaurant industry in order to “meet nice people”.

Uchida has worked with chef Koji Matsuda to create a menu that reflects her approach to the restaurant. Try Matsuda’s homemade pork gyoza; fried sand whiting with angel-hair chili and mayonnaise; or a plate of grilled mackerel. Uchida says saké goes particularly well with fish. If you’re unsure which one to order, try one of the most popular brands, Otokoyama, which translates to “strong man”.