About Izakaya Blue Ocean
Japanese izakayas are becoming the faux speakeasies of our time—hipper, pricier versions of neighborhood pubs—but you won’t find $14 cocktails and one-bite snacks at this lantern-lit dining room. The food speaks for itself, though sometimes it doesn’t—ask your server to translate the many specials handwritten in Japanese, which might yield a crunchy, umami-packed salmon-skin salad or ichiya-boshi, cured and grilled squid. The sushi menu also holds unusual finds—abalone, sea eel—though there’s nothing wrong with sticking to more familiar staples: miso-marinated cod, ramen packed with toothsome noodles, and sushi and sashimi plates that are artfully arranged like flower bouquets, and just as colorful.
Also good: Unagidon (eel over rice); shrimp sushi; toro taku (toro-and-pickled-radish roll).