An izakaya is a type of informal Japanese drinking establishment that serves food to accompany the drinks, typically casual places for after-work drinking. Food is normally ordered slowly over several courses rather than all at once, and the kitchen will serve the food when it’s ready, rather than in formal courses like Western restaurants.
Honda-ya offers Izakaya food, as well as other menu items. On this particular visit, Stephen and I shared some kushiyaki (grilled meat or vegetable) and got the meat skewers: pork belly in garlic, grilled beef, Japanese beef (with onions), beef tongue, and prime beef (wagyu), along with an order of the chicken karaage (fried chicken), and mixed tempura: shrimp and vegetables covered in Japanese panko breading, then fried to a golden crisp.
Izakaya food are items are designed to be shared, but unlike tapas, are generally substantial in portions. In addition to the kushiyaki, Honda-ya also offers other items from hot and cold noodles, sashimi / sushi items, and a variety of other grilled and fried meats and vegetables.
Customers can also sit “tatani” style, a traditional Japanese dining style on mats, or traditional Westernized tables and chairs. The restaurant is opened late, typically until midnight on weekends, and can accommodate large groups.