Izakaya, Elgin

I was super excited to see that Ottawa finally has an Izakaya!

According to wikipedia, an Izakaya is a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. They are casual places for after-work drinking.

And they definetly do have an ample drink list. Lots of cocktails, and a full page dedicated to Sake.

If you look around at the wait staff you will think you’re at a classier version of Moxy’s. Their servers are beautiful people, so I was pretty suspect that we would be getting terrible service à la Moxy’s (I’ve heard that Moxy’s actually hires their servers from a modeling agency – seriously!?)

Anyways we were pleasantly surprised. Our server was AMAZING. I tried to get her name off the receipt but it just said “BAR PM” or something. We did sit on the bar side so I guess she was the bartender but there seemed to be a lot of people in and around the bar.

We were just there for snacks and appetizers but we tried a few of their raw plates and the pickles and a few of the cocktails and nothing disappointed.

The Caesar has fresh cilantro in it and it really make it taste fresh. I normally like my caesars to have a lot of horseradish but this one was perfect. Our server was super good about making our drinks to order (ie spicy caesars, mild caesars, non-spicy spicy mango margarintas etc)

The house pickles are really fresh and crunchy and all around good. All the raw plates were sampled were excellent as well. The food tastes fresh and is beautifully plated.

The only thing that dissappointed was that they didn’t have any other asian spirits besides sake. I was hoping for some Umeshu (plum wine) or Shochu (a spirit made from barley, sweet potatoes, rice, buckwheat or brown sugar, etc). Also there is no sushi on the menu but I assume that was on purpose. they do have mains and sharing plates, and a simple fresh menu.

They have kept the space more or less the same layout as Big Daddy’s used to be, so there is lots of space at and around the bar. We were there on Saturday night and although it go busy I don’t think it filled while we were there (from 6-830pm).

Izakaya on Urbanspoon

339 elgin st


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