I can eat good Chinese food at home; therefore, I rarely crave Chinese when I travel. However, I eventually got tired of only eating steak while in Atlantic City. Luckily, the Borgata Hotel is home to a gem of a Japanese restaurant – Izakaya. Izakaya is a Japanese fusion restaurant offering small tapas-style plates, Japanese appetizers and entrees as well as amazing sushi.
The restaurant is quite large and creates a very nice modern ambiance – heavily embracing a Zen-like appearance. The entrance of the restaurant features a small bridge type structure, which is surrounded by pebbles. My party was seated in the small annex area of the restaurant, which is partly exposed to the casino floor. I started off with dragon roll, which usually consists of eel and avocado. This dragon roll consisted of yellow tail and spicy tuna with salmon and avocado pyramids on top. For $18 this dragon roll is not cheap, but it was delicious. All the fish was very fresh and the roll almost melted in your mouth. The spicy kick from the tuna was well balanced with the amount of avocado on top of the roll. Easily, some of the best sushi I have ever had.
For my entrée I ordered the Japanese Sea Bass ($26), which featured the fish served on top of a bed of sautéed morel mushrooms, edamame, and some other Japanese vegetables that I was unable to identify. The fish was cooked beautifully, having a delicate taste and texture with crispy skin. The vegetables provided a nice contrast to the delicate flavor of the sea bass. There wasn’t much of a sauce; however, the flavors played off each other well enough to not beckon for one. The portion was quite small, luckily we also ordered the Kobe Fried Rice to accompany the dish. The fried rice was good but had a different flavor than what I was used to. The beef was most likely not kobe, and if it was, well then it was not good kobe. My friend ordered the Filet Mignon ($29), which came with a horseradish cream sauce, togarashi fries, and spinach. The meat was cooked beautifully and melted in the mouth. The spinach was expertly prepared and mixed well with the horseradish and soy sauce on the side.
I really enjoyed my meal at Izakaya. It was a nice change of pace from eating at Bobby Flay Steak and the Old Homestead. The portions are quite small so I advise you to order an appetizer and/or some sushi to start. Sharing entrees is almost out of the question. A lot of other items on the menu looked tantalizing so I look forward to my next dining experience at Izakaya.