Tsubaki brings a modern Izakaya to Echo Park

In Echo Park, Tsubaki radiates the kind of intimate, convivial vibe that many neighborhood restaurants only dream about. The 35-seat modern izakaya from sommelier Courtney Kaplan and chef Charles Namba dazzles with well-calibrated Japanese small plates and an impressive craft sake selection.

Namba, who previously cooked French cuisine under Thomas Keller, marries classic Japanese pub fare with fine dining finesse in dishes like kaarage, deep-fried Japanese chicken; charcoal-grilled yakitori; and bone-in short rib. The chef also has a broad repertoire of excellent sashimi and vegetable plates.

Kaplan, one of the city’s most passionate and knowledgeable sake authorities, supplements the drink menu with accessible tasting notes that steer you toward interesting bottles.

With its hospitality, fresh take on Japanese izakaya fare, and thoughtfully curated craft sake list, Tsubaki is a singular neighborhood restaurant.

See where Tsubaki landed on this year’s edition of the 101 Best Restaurant’s in L.A.