A brief counter overlooking a tiny open kitchen, plus a few small tables additional again. A fridge crammed with sake sourced from across the nation. And a meals menu that’s assorted, inventive and reasonably priced: Utsura Utsura ticks nearly all the best containers.
Set again far sufficient from the sidewalk that most individuals give it barely a re-assessment, this welcoming little izakaya tavern has the nice and cozy really feel of a neighborhood watering gap, nevertheless it’s close to sufficient to the lights of Shibuya to reward a couple of minutes’ stroll. Particularly if you sit down and examine the sake checklist.
Until you establish some explicit favourite brews, the simplest strategy is to go away the alternatives as much as the younger sake sommelier. Most of his choices are served as atsukan or nurukan (heat or barely heated), however he additionally shares some glorious reishu (chilled sake).
Ditto with the meals: the five-course omakase (chef’s alternative) menu is nice worth at ¥3,800. It kicks off with a tray of half a dozen appetizers — nibbles of seafood, tofu and seasonal greens — and closes with a small however glorious meat dish (at present each pork and venison).
About that curious title: “Utsura-utsura” is Japanese onomatopoeia for the drowsy drifting state between wakefulness and daydreaming. After a night right here with just a few good flasks of sake, that’s precisely the form of elevated state of mind you may count on to realize.
Shoto 2-14-5, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0046; 03-3485-1555; facebook.com/utsurautsura; open 6-11 p.m. (L.O.), closed Mon.; set meal ¥3,800 (plus tax), additionally a la carte; nearest stations Shinsen, Shibuya; main bank cards; nonsmoking; some English spoken