Juban: Tranquil, Affordable Pick-Me-Ups in Japantown
The hours: Mon.-Sat., 5-7 p.m.
The deals: Free appetizer with drink purchase
The digs: Classy Japantown barbecue joint with indirect lighting, sumptuous seating, bouquets of fresh flowers, and blond-wood partitioned nooks for gatherings great and intimate.
The verdict: Juban's light, fresh cuisine is the perfect pick-me-up after a long day in the salt mines. Our favorite complimentary snacking option is namuru, an edible mosaic of spinach, daikon, soy sprouts, and bean sprouts that's as beautiful as it is tasty. Or go for a snappy bowl of kimchi, yakinori (roasted seaweed with sesame oil), or edamame, the Beer Nuts of Japan. Wash them down with beer (Asahi, Sapporo, Kirin, Yebisu) or hot or premium sake ($5-$8), a glass of wine ($7-$8), or a sho-chu Mojito, Cosmopolitan, or Midori sour ($6-$8). All in all this is one of the city's more tranquil happy hour options.
Toro E./Yelp Once you're inside, there's nice lighting, comfy seats, and fresh flowers.
Overall grade: B-