So I hate to start off with a problem, especially on my birthday, but that is exactly what happened! I chose this place to have my birthday dinner because I looooove sushi and japanese cuisine, but we will get to the food shortly. I made a reservation for Izakaya a couple of weeks for my birthday for 1 because no one had offered to make plans or even hang with me on my birthday, but a week before my birthday I decided to stop being a recluse and invite family and friends to enjoy this occasion with me. So my party of 1 turned into a party of 12 (tentatively, it ended up being 8).
When I called 3 days before the date to change my reservation, a kind gentleman (whose name I cannot remember, but wouldn’t share even if I could) helped me change my reservation and even explained the minimum food and beverage purchase requirement based on party size and automatic gratuity. I have worked in the hotel/restaurant industry for several years so I understand these policies very well. The one thing he forgot to mention was the “split check” policy, as in they do not split checks, and furthermore that they could only pay with up to 4 different cards on a single ticket. It wasn’t until the hostess called 5 hours before my reservation to confirm the time and party size that I found out. Now this would have been okay if it was just 2 or 3 of us but for a group of potentially 12 people, all of which were likely paying by card, this would not work. I was initially pretty perturbed that I was just finding out. It would have been a tedious task to try to make contact with everyone that had RSVP’d to explain why they needed to bring cash and essentially keep a tab in their mind of what all they order. It would have been equally as tedious to search for a new location with an open reservation at the time that I had already set, and could accommodate my party size. So after taking a breather and getting in a quick moment of prayer, I asked to speak to a manager. Enter Rosy…
Rosy, the manager on duty, allowed me ample, uninterrupted, time to explain my problem, vent my frustration, and describe how the two solutions that I had come up with were not conducive to me having a pleasant, stress free and smooth going birthday. She provided non-verbal cues to let me know that she was listening and after I finished she empathized with me while acknowledging and validating my frustration. Now, I work as a crisis counselor and have to respond to people this way on the daily, so when I experience this degree of care and service, especially in a situation where she could have easily written off my issue with “we have to abide by the policy”, I would have been appreciative and less upset even if she could not accommodate my need. But thankfully Rosy was able to make arrangements so that my birthday dinner commenced seamlessly. So although I started of with a problem, it was resolved and actually added value to my experience.
On to the food! I want to forewarn you, Izakaya is not a “sushi” restaurant. It is more like a Japanese gastropub. They have tapas style dishes made to share and also menu items that draw from different cultures and combines with their own flavors for a nice spin. The closest thing to sushi is the Poke Bowl (but if you are not familiar with Poke Bowls, it’s not a bad compromise). The food was tasty and my favorite, the Salmon Poke Bowl. As I said before this is not a sushi restaurant, but it turns out the Poke Bowl is essentially a deconstructed sushi roll…times 5! It was super filling and delicious. my friends also had some delicious dishes that I did not snap because they were quick to start digging in. I also had the Pork Belly & Shishito Pepper Skewers and they were almost as yummy. My good friend had the Katsu Don and aside from the 62 degree egg that he overlooked reading on the dish, he loved his food as well.
The atmosphere and decor of the restaurant was definitely a plus. The walls are decked out in beautiful mural that make for great photos.
So, overall, I would definitely give this place another chance. The food was delicious, the service was great and they were quick to resolve my issue.