Izakaya looks typical of other neighborhood Japanese restaurants—wood block tables, sake bottles lining shelves, specials scrawled on blackboards—but has an Italian strain that sets it apart. Japanese chef and co-owner Dai Watanabe trained in Naples, Italy, and has as sure a hand with sashimi as he does four-cheese macaroni. He dares to feature everything from beef guts stew and pasta with a ketchup and soy base to Caesar salad with bacon and Japanese-style fried chicken. The young staff is cool and sweet, truly seeming to care that everyone at the table is happy. The warmly lit space is small—but tables turn quickly, so the wait is rarely onerous.