YUKI IZAKAYA NEW ORLEANS

This diminutive, narrow setting is a far cry from the rest of Frenchmen Street. Japanese travel and movie posters adorn the walls, and the bar is crowned with a clowder of golden lucky cats greeting patrons as they enter. Anime films (with subtitles) light up one wall, and flags depicting the rising sun cover the other. It seems like there is no room for musicians in the petite space, but they find a way somehow. You can hear live music here most nights. Unlike the brass bands whose thundering din dominates the rest of Frenchmen Street, the music at Yuki is chill, often smooth Brazilian or quiet jazz.

In Japan, Izakaya are traditional Japanese gastropubs, where patrons gather to enjoy sake and bar snacks. Yuki serves a formidable list of sakes that include dry, floral, hot, cold, and milky unfiltered versions. Or you can sample shochu, a Japanese liquor distilled from sugar cane, sweet potato, barley, tea, rice or other bases. The kitchen serves until late, and though there is no sushi, the fried chicken is apparently a favorite among musicians who work gigs on the street.

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