Izakaya is a Japanese word for a drinking place that also serves food. Wikipedia has a bunch of details; here is a brief excerpt:
The name “izakaya” is a compound word consisting of “i ” (to remain) and “sakaya” (sake shop), showing that izakaya originate from sake shops which allowed customers to remain on the premises to drink.
Vancouver is one of the lucky food cities around the world where you can find a Japanese Izakaya restaurant outside of Japan. Kingyo, located in downtown Vancouver’s West End, is an upscale and trendy Izakaya that provides a modern, intimate, and tantalyzing taste of contemporary Japanese food and drink.
Rated as one of Canada and Vancouver’s best new restaurants of 2007 by enRoute Magazine (the inflight magazine of Air Canada), Kingyo consistently gets glowing reviews by visitors for its friendly staff, creative and innovative menu, and great service (check out some of the reviews at Dinehere.ca).
Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted warmly by the staff and shown to a table quite quickly. Nice hot towels were served to us and our drink orders taken. There was a daily special sheet folded into the menu and the difficult thing was deciding on what to try. We asked the server and he recommended a few dishes. Knowing it was izakaya (tapas), we weren’t expecting huge portions, but trying out several sharing plates. We started with the ahi tuna sashimi (melts in your mouth), then had the calamari (loved how it was made) followed with the Ebi Mayo and the Black Cod.
Below are some pictures of the food that I enjoyed with my friend. Everything was really tasty and I’ll definitely go back again for more.