A mile-high trailblazer (since 2007), Izakaya Den puts a Western twist on traditional Japanese pub fare, serving kobe beef sliders alongside miso eggplant. izakayaden.net, sliders, $15.
At Little Tokyo's Izakaya Fu-Ga, which opened last September, booths and wall-mounted TVs create a modern sports-bar feel. Along with Asian-fusion dishes like crispy rice topped with Ahi and tempura onion rings, the whisky selection is particularly stellar. izakayafu-ga.com, onion rings, $4.
Patrons pack into the 30-seat Izakaya Sozai, which opened in the Inner Sunset neighborhood last February, for grilled rice balls and what some consider to be the best ramen in the city. The secret? A cloudy pork broth that simmers for two days. izakayasozai.com, tonkotsu ramen, $8.
Fired pork-belly skewers, Japanese pickles, and small-batch sake draw weekend crowds to Kushi, Mount Vernon Square's year-old izakaya and charcoal grill. eatkushi.tumblr.com, skewers, $4.50.