We decided to check out Issian, a Japanese izakaya, for their happy hour. It’s next door to a Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream branch.
We dropped in on a Friday (around 5:15pm) and it was non-stop busy. By the time we left at 6:30pm, there was a lineup out the door. Service is friendly, quick and efficient (what we call Japanese efficiency). Fun how the chefs pass you certain dishes via a paddle (if you’re sitting at the bar).
Daily specials up on their chalkboards when you first walk in.
The menu is extensive but happy hour is 4:30pm to 6:30pm daily.
Impressed there’s 17 food items ranging from $1.50 USD to $6.75 USD.
Maguro avocado tartare ($6.75 USD)
Chopped tuna and avocado with tortilla. This was my favourite dish. The tartare was fresh and texture was creamy. One of the best we’ve eaten in a long time.
2x Yakitori and yakiton ($1.50 USD each)
Grilled chicken thigh and grilled pork belly skewers. I liked the yakiton over the yakitori.
The pork belly had a good ratio of meat to fat and you could really taste the black pepper.
That being said, the chicken thigh was tender and juicy. It just lacked in the flavour department.
Kalbi beef ($6.75 USD)
Grilled short ribs with green onion and sesame seeds. Short ribs were excellently marinated and had a great bite.
Fries with wasabi mayo ($4.25 USD)
Fries came out piping hot. The wasabi mayo had a surprising kick to it.
Hotate masu sushi ($5.80 USD for 3)
Three pieces of scallop on top of sushi rice. It comes in a very small cute box. Scallops were fresh and the rice was nicely seasoned with vinegar and a touch of salt.
2x Hatsu ($2.00 USD each)
We ended our meal off with two skewers of chicken hearts. We love hearts but these were slightly overcooked.
Would return to Issian for more Japanese izakaya eats.
Issian Japanese Stone Grill
1618 N 45th St