Easy-on-the-budget Japanese at Showa Izakaya
The Fremont space that previously housed Chiso Kappo (the $100-plus omakase-only sanctuary) is now home to Showa, open since November and serving really tasty Japanese nibbles in the $3 to $10 range. It’s co-owned by Steve Tamura and Taichi Kitamura, the guys behind the estimable Sushi Kappo Tamura in Eastlake, so this is one izakaya with remarkable food.
Sit at the kitchen bar, sipping sake and nibbling pork belly skewers ($3.50), hot and dripping their buttery fat, and you’ll get a peek at how much care goes into the oden ($10), an intoxicating bowl of broth bearing fried tofu, marinated daikon and chewy chikuwa (a tubular fish Jell-O of sorts). I can’t remember the last time I spent so little and was treated to such interesting food. Incredibly, prices are even better at its two happy hours (starting at 5 and 10 p.m.).
Dinner Tue.–Sat. Fremont, 701 N 36th St.; 206.388.3913; showafremont.com. ¢