As Bucktown girds its loins at the impending exodus of Takashi in early January, today it welcomes a new Japanese restaurant in the form of Izakaya Mita, opening a scant 72 feet away at the corner of Damen and Armitage.
That's not to say that the restaurant will follow in the same footsteps as Takashi Yagihashi's Michelin-starred space. Izakaya Mita is casual, featuring a menu of Japanese pub fare that places an emphasis on the use of a Bincho charcoal grill along with a diverse sake list. See the full food and drink menus below.
Run by Brian Mita and his mother Helen, Izakaya Mita is a way for the two to honor the family's patriarch, the late Shiyouji Mita, a former general manager of Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse. The respect to Shiyouji goes further with the hiring of Toshi Motegi, a former Ichiban chef during Shiyouji's time and a close family friend.
Motegi's menu isn't strictly devoted to items cooked over Bincho coals, it will also feature several small plates, sashimi, tempura, rice bun sliders (options include beef, eel, chicken and more), ramen as well as "hearty bites" such as the tonkatsu, a deep fried pork cutlet.
Brian Mita, in addition to managing the restaurant, will also head up the beverage program. He's eager for the opportunity to grow his customers' knowledge and love of sake. Sake will be available in "one cups," by the glass and by the bottle (ranging in price from $22 to $190). The bar will also have 5 taps featuring Japanese beer and varieties of shochu (which is often distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat or rice).
Izakaya Mita opens today at 5:00 p.m. with seating for 50 inside the restaurant and another 12 at the bar. Opening weekend hours are as follows: 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. Friday, 4:00 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. Saturday, 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Sunday, 5:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Monday.