Set within a two-level townhouse in a residential area, Izakaya Seki delivers a simple, yet spot-on experience. With just 40 seats and a no-reservation policy, you may have to wait for your seat—either at the sushi bar on the first floor or upstairs where exposed beams and shelves lined with sake bottles make for a Kyoto-chic ambience. The father-daughter team ventures beyond sushi and sashimi to impress diners with authentic Japanese dishes, and it is evident the chef loves what he does. Ojiya soba, lovingly prepared in Japan and dried outdoors for one year before being stirred into the dashi and topped with sweet, flavorful pork belly, is nothing if not memorable. And delicate baby octopus braised in sake and mirin is sweet, salty and just a bit smoky.