Sit Back and Relax at Japanese Pub Namo Izakaya

Good Bite

Pictured: The Tomyummen Ramen at Namo Izakaya blends Thai and Japanese flavors. Photo courtesy of Namo Izakaya.

Dining at Namo Izakaya is like stepping through a portal to Japan’s popular pubs. Colorful signs written in Japanese line the restaurant’s brick walls, beckoning guests to whip out their phones and translate their hidden meanings. Bank Tansiri, the owner and chef of Namo Izakaya, modeled the establishment after eateries he visited while traveling through the country. “In Japan, I went to a couple of places like this. They were comfortable and relaxing places to hang out,” he says. Drawing upon Japan’s rich traditions, Tansiri incorporated them into the business, inviting patrons to experience the nation’s culinary culture in a manner that stands out from other local restaurants. As is customary in Japan, an oshibori, or hot towel, is presented to diners so they can clean their hands during the meal.

“We serve tapas-style Japanese food in small portions that guests can share with friends or family,” adds Tansiri. “Here, you can try different items without spending a lot of money on large portions.” The menu features something to please every palate, from scrumptious starters to Thai-Japanese fusion dishes. Crowd-favorite starters include the Gyoza Pork Dumplings and Sweet Corn Cheese. Certain starters, like Spicy Edamame and the Namo Fried Chicken, pack a subtle layer of spice. Classic flavors abound in the Tonkotsu ramen, with sun noodles, creamy broth, egg and vegetables. Tansiri blended his Thai background with his passion for Japanese cuisine to create Tomyummen, a spicy lemongrass ramen dish. Entrees, like Chicken Teriyaki and Shrimp and Veg Tempura, round out the menu, along with a selection of sake, Japanese beer and soda as well as other beverages. For dessert, don’t miss the Green Tea Ice Cream, a delightful way to finish off the meal.

Tansiri hopes that diners find the restaurant to be a welcoming space reminiscent of Japanese izakaya, or pubs. “Namo, in the Buddhist religion, means to pray before doing anything else, like eating,” he says, “and I feel blessed and grateful to provide great food to everyone.”

Namo Izakaya, 1439 Main St., Sarasota, namoizakay.com.

Pictured: The Tomyummen Ramen at Namo Izakaya blends Thai and Japanese flavors. Photo courtesy of Namo Izakaya.

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