In the words of Takumen producer, Kiyo, “Izakaya is a reflection of the streets of New York.”
At an Izakaya, your soul and taste buds are liberated. From sashimi to chicken wings, sushi rolls to steak, ramen to dessert parfaits, the New American Izakaya menu is filled with items that excite the dinner table. For drinks we have everything from beer, Japanese sake, shochu, wine, and whiskey. Kanpai diversity!
In Japan, the “salary men” —Japanese business men—gathered at small bars where red lanterns hung above the doors. After World War II, these saloons that offered men a space to drink away the stress of their day became a significant part of Japanese food culture. This is considered to be the first wave of Izakaya.
The second wave occurred in the ‘90s, when numerous chefs in Japan—stimulated by restaurant culture in New York—started to fuse Japanese and Western styles, creating exotic cuisines that took society by storm. High-end Izakayas started popping up with a sweet twist: dessert. With the transformation of its offerings, the Izakaya became sacred ground not only for middle-class business men, but also for a new generation in search of the next best date spot.
Today Izakaya is entering its third wave. According to Kiyo, Takumen aspires to be an innovative space that both challenges and respects Japanese Izakaya culture. Kiyo wonders, “Learning from the New American culinary movement, what would a “New American Izakaya” look like?”
“The impossible exists.”
An Izakaya where you can drink a fresh cup of coffee at 8:00 in the morning? Impossible until now. At Takumen, familiar faces stop by the coffee counter to start their day. Izakaya is now a window to the neighborhood from morning to night.
“Flavor with an identity”
Start the night with some edamame and conclude with noodles. The beloved routine of the Izakaya meal remains the same—bringing joy to people with unique flavors and personality. Takumen’s edamame is an amplified curveball with shiso, yukari and salted konbu. The miso ramen is seasoned with spicy miso and sesame seeds, creating a bodily sensation that goes beyond the norm.
“Sharing is superior”
Sharing several small plates accompanied with drinks, everyone around the dinner table becomes a familiar friend as conversation flows naturally. Family style dining is the essence of Izakaya.
“Izakaya is every culture’s intermingling”
The collaboration of craftsmen and artists’ zeal is the basis and center of Takumen’s passionate culture. Our coffee beans come from Parlor Coffee and the Matcha in our lattes is from MatchaBar; our draft beer is fully supplied by local brewers Rockaway Brewing Co. and our signature ice cream dessert is provided by Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream. Local artists crafted the tableware and our interior walls exhibit the creativity of photographers and painters alike.
“Of course, the drinks are also next generation”
The pleasant duet of washoku (Japanese cuisine) and natural wine leads Takumen to believe that natural wine is one of the most appropriate Izakaya drinks of the new age. The subtle paring of orange wine with soy sauce and dashi is a new discovery. The highball is the Izakaya’s extra carbonated secret weapon. The radical sensations of these drinks are cutting-edge. Takumen’s flavors are most complemented by these natural wines and highballs.
Going forward, Izakaya will become increasingly borderless. As Kiyo states, “When you survey New York City through the lens of Izakaya, the New American restaurants, whether Italian, Chinese, or Mexican in focus, all have the quality of providing a space to “eat creativity.” In other words, these are restaurants with an Izakaya identity.” Takumen aspires to be a pioneer of New American Izakaya.Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Quisque congue porttitor ullamcorper. Sed a ligula quis sapien lacinia egestas. Donec eget risus diam. Donec eu est non lacus lacinia semper. Aenean eu justo sed elit dignissim aliquam. Phasellus sodales massa malesuada tellus fringilla, nec bibendum tellus blandit.