The Heights recently welcomed Blackbird Izakaya. For those not familiar with the term, izakayas are informal Japanese pubs traditionally visited for after-work drinks and dinner. Blackbird Izakaya is just that, a cozy space with tables and high boys for seating options aptly decorated in a Japanese style. The menu is plentiful, diverse and exciting. Whether dining alone or in a group there are a number of dishes to enjoy or split with the table.
Small plates include fresh sashimi, hand rolls, Japanese potato salad and ankimo otherwise known as marinated monkfish liver. The hot plates are also shareable with potato mentai, fried potatoes, handmade gyoza, kaki fry or fried and breaded oysters, tofu and gobo chips as options. However, no izakaya would be complete without skewers. Skewer options are sorted by protein with chicken, cow, swine, sea and veggies options. Chicken thighs with grilled scallions and lemon are a delicious option, as are the pork belly with scallion or kimchi belly, enoki mushroom wrapped in pork belly. Pescatarians or vegetarians can enjoy grilled squid with lemon or the chargrilled scallop skewer, shishito peppers and miso eggplant with grilled mushrooms are also available.
Even in the Houston heat, sometimes nothing beats a great bowl of ramen. Blackbird Izakaya has you covered with a spicy miso ramen that includes a miso pork broth, marinated ground pork, egg, corn, bamboo shoots bean sprouts and spicy chili bomb or the tonkotsu ramen, which is a 12 hour pork broth, pork chashu, marinated egg, bamboo shoots, wood mushroom, spinach and scallops. The carbonara di uni is a fun twist on Asian fusion that includes spaghetti with creamy sea urchin. Curry rice, and freshwater eel with rice are delicious options. Blackbird also has a specialty cocktail list that includes Asian liquors like soju.