It’s not that sayonara and domo arigato have worn out their usefulness; it’s just that after dining at this muraled and moody wood-toned lounge (with one of the best back patios in town), customers will find they’ve expanded their Japanese vocabulary. Formerly run and co-owned by Micah Camden (of Blue Star Donut fame), this izakaya offers excellent sushi, sashimi, and miso soup alongside more experimental plates such as seared yellowtail topped with ponzu sauce and jalapeño salsa, or soda-pop-braised pork short ribs. Yakuza’s also got one of the best burgers in town, served with truffle oil and pickled onions. The result of such delicious dishes? Between the communal tables and a shared-plates philosophy, all manner of clandestine plans can be hatched over a drawn-out meal among Yakuza initiates.
This restaurant was also featured in our 2009 Top Burgers package.