There was a time, not too long ago, when the closest thing to Japanese food you could find outside Japan was Benihana. Then the came the sushi craze, introducing North America to the wonders of the California roll. Now Vancouver – long a pioneer when it comes to Asian cusine – finds itself in the midst of another culinary wave from Japan: the izakaya invasion. A sort of Japanese pub, izakayas are rowdier and more debauched than any sushi joint. I had a chance to check a few out for this article for The Washington Post.
Vancouver snapshot: Japanese cuisine beyond sushi
Welcome to the dark side of Japanese dining: izakayas. Greasier and louder than a sushi joint, these Japanese pubs have invaded Vancouver, B.C.
Izakayas have reportedly been around for a few hundred years in Japan. Their patrons, mostly men, congregate after work to drink and snack on deep-fried tofu, chicken and savory salads — the buffalo wings and nachos of a parallel universe — before heading home, often roundly soused. But like the hibachi and sushi before it, izakaya cuisine has found a global following, and Vancouver, with its strong ties to Japan, is at the forefront of the izakaya explosion.
Click here for the full article on The Washington Post site.