First Look: Yopparai Team Opens Azasu on the LES

By Kelly Dobkin  |  May 5, 2014

The gist: Husband-and-wife team Gaku and Christy Shibata (owners of nearby Yopparai) opened this neighborhood izakaya/small plates concept on Clinton street yesterday.  

The space: The 52-seat modern izakaya space was designed by NYC-based architect Richard Bloch (Neta, Dovetail and Yopparai) and features communal wooden tables, wooden doors and walls lined with "fukusuke," the restaurant's mascot - basically antique good luck statues (pictured below). 

The food: The small plates menu is divided up into Hot, Cold, Fried, Gyoza, Nancan, Rice & Noodles and Sandwiches. Expect items like fried Takoyaki balls, a popular Japanese street food, Niku Jyaga, a poutine-style meat and potato soup, beef and pork meatballs and Japanese white bread sandwiches filled with things like Ebi, ham katsu or potato croquettes. Check out the full menu below. 

The drinks: Cup sake (individual glass jars of sake with metal pop-can tops), shochu and frosted beer (chilled via custom mug froster) are the specialties on the beverage side. Enjoy high balls of Japanese whiskey, shochu cocktails and a variety of sake and beers on tap.

The details: 49 Clinton Street; 212-777-7069


  • Interior

  • Tomato salad

  • Fukusake

  • Ham katsu sandwich

  • Niku Jyaga