It’s not a secret that I am a big fan of izakaya (居酒屋) food. It’s also no secret that I like to stuff my face late at night. Probably later than one should following sound medical advice. Oh well, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to take wonderful pictures of the food that goes so well with sake or Japanese brew.
Anyway, Imanas Tei, while not technically open till midnight (and the kitchen closes well before then), is a place I find myself often on Friday or Saturday nights with friends close to midnight, which is perfect because after sake and sushi I can run (may be take labored steps) toward Bubbies for ice cream!
Anyway, here are some of my favorite late night salty treats that go well with sake and friends:
Kinpira (金平) gobo (牛蒡) or burdock is a nice salty and sweet appetizer with a bit of crunch that like to start out with.
Agedashi tofu (揚げ出し豆腐) another nice small dish. I like the texture of the crunch with the soft tofu inside sitting in a nice broth. I think I also delude myself into thinking I’m eating something healthy because it has tofu . . . .
Beef tongue or usually referred to tan shio (タン塩), which literally translates into “tongue salt” because it is usually flavored with salt is one of my favorites. The texture is usually delicate, but slightly chewy and the saltiness erodes any delusion in my head that this is something healthy . . . well there is the lemon and parsley, no? Anyway, I can’t saw if Imanas Tei’s beef tongue is better than Aki-No-No’s because I really just like the beef tongue itself.
You can’t go to a Hawaii izakaya and not get some sort of sushi, or well I can’t. Always one of my favorites is unagi, cucumber, and avocado roll. To me its a classic that I never get tired of and probably could it 3 days a week, possibly 4 if there is sake with it.
Speaking of sake, I love Imanas Tei because it has my favorite sake for izakaya food. Akitabare Junmai “Northern Skies” compliments salty food quite well because of how dry and smooth it goes down. Not to be trite about it all, but the name is highly evocative of a northern skies, crisp and cool. I highly recommend it.