Izakaya is a buzzword among fans of Japanese cuisine. It describes a tavern at which patrons are meant to linger over drinks and interesting small plates. Shoya is the first Atlanta-area establishment to truly epitomize the Japanese izakaya model.

Start with a citrusy shochu cocktail and nibble through the head-spinning array of small dishes such as aji namerou (mackerel with ginger and miso), hamachi kama (yellowtail collar), grilled chicken livers, and ochazuke (a meal-ending bowl of rice with barley tea, often topped with salmon).

Photo by Iain Bagwell