What's an izakaya? In short, it's a Japanese pub with food intended to go with drinks. But to experience for yourself how the izakaya concept translates to the hip LoHi neighborhood, head over to Mizu Izakaya, which opened at the end of 2016 in a corner space that had once seemed doomed and now is booming. Yes, Mizu offers sushi, but that's not the focal point of the menu. Instead, think Japanese tapas and order from the binchotan menu — skewers and other small bites cooked over oak charcoal at high heat. Black cod, pork belly and marinated eel are a good start; then try something fried, like frog-leg karaage or whole quail doused in guajillo teriyaki. There's so much to choose from you'll need several trips to sample your way through, with sake, Colorado craft beers or food-friendly house cocktails to wash it all down. Don't say cheers, say kanpai!
Readers' Choice: Sushi Den