The Empress of Stockholm ($11)
Right gin, Dimmi liqueur, brown rice vinegar syrup, Swedish herb bitters, and a leaf of Thai basil. The Empress of Stockholm is a light, herbal sipper with a distinctly Asian sweetness from the rice vinegar syrup.
Daikaya's current most popular drink. A traditional gin Rickey that incorporates yuzu for an extra citrusy twist.
Dassai 50, "Otter Fest"
One of the many sakes available. The Dassai 50 is one of the fragrant varieties. It's classified as junmai daiginjo, which means that it's made of 100% rice and the rice is polished down to about 30% of its original size. The result is a high quality sake that extracts as much flavor from the rice as possible. Compared to more common sakes, which Utagawa refers to "drinking sakes," the Dassai 50 is best as an aperitif. It's sweeter and has floral notes that end with a subtle umami flavor.
Oysters and Shochu
A broiled oyster with teriyaki sauce, butter, and parmesan cheese ($3.25) and grilled oyster with sake and oyster salt ($2.75). Accompanied by a glass of Towari soba shochu that has a strong buckwheat flavor.
Shishito Peppers ($3.25) and Miso Cod ($7.50)
A group of grilled shisito peppers stuffed with gouda and togarashi (a kind of chili pepper). The peppers themselves are sweet and smoky, but the togarashi adds some heat. The miso cod is served with a carrot puree and a sliver of picked carrot. The cod is lightly savory and the skin on the bottom adds a satisfying crispness. The carrot puree adds a dimension of complementary sweetness.
Under the "unusual dishes" heading on the menu, the ankimo is a sliver of monkfish liver served with miso escalivada. The liver is unctuous and rich. Monkfish is popular in Japan, but chef Fukushima draws from Spanish influences with this dish.
Fried Garlic ($3), Wasabi Octopus ($5.50), and Fermented Vegetables ($5)
Both the garlic and octopus fall under the "unique dishes" category of the menu, but are highly recommended. The garlic is seasoned with a kimchi miso and is intensely flavorful. The garlic takes on a thin, crisp skin and almost melts in your mouth. The garlic flavor is potent, but not overwhelming. The octopus wasabi, Utagawa says, has been surprisingly popular. Raw octopus served with apple, olive oil, and wasabi sprouts. A combination of heat, tartness, and richness results in surprisingly balanced flavor.
Miso Braised Saba ($7.50)
A very simple dish of braised Japanese mackerel, pickled mustard seed, and miso.