For those who are unfamiliar with Japanese culinary jargon, an izakaya is a bar that also serves food to accompany their beverage selection. Azasu, which opened in May on New York’s Lower East Side, is one such type of watering hole, and in keeping with tradition offers its patrons a variety of Japanese drinks alongside an eclectic menu of bar bites.
One rainy night in August, the spot hosted an event to celebrate the 66th anniversary of Hoppy, a Japanese malt beverage company. Azasu is one of the only places in America that serves the brand, and three of the company’s brews were on tap: Hoppy Original, Hoppy Premium, and Hoppy Black, which were served in mugs frozen on the spot with a high-tech liquid nitrogen apparatus. The kitchen was also hard at work, churning out some of their most popular food items for the crowd, including takoyaki (pancake balls with octopus), pork gyoza dumplings, and their addictive chicken karaage: sake- and ginger-marinated boneless chicken wings.
Although the celebration is over, you can skip down to Azasu and enjoy Hoppy any time; the drinks, food, and atmosphere blend together to make you feel as if you’re partying in Harajuku.