Can anyone recommend a few izakaya that either have an English menu or have helpful, patient and/or English speaking staff?
I used to live in Tokyo and love to eat in izakaya as often as possible whenever I'm back for a visit. I personally feel izakaya are the best way to try lots of different Japanese dishes and drinks, all in a fun social setting. Normally I visit (Japanese speaking) friends when I'm there, but this time almost all my friends will be away due to the Golden Week holidays. In the past I've guiltily relied on my Tokyo friends to read/translate the menu for me. But this time I'll be on my own. On top of this, I'll be showing a 'first time in Japan' friend around.
I 'understand' most Japanese foods and menu descriptions, and am fairly decent at reading hiragana and katakana, but it's those kanji that kill me. And so much of that wonderful Japanese food is written in kanji on menus and daily specials boards.
I'll be staying in Roppongi during this trip, but am happy to travel pretty much anywhere within the city.
Oh, and I'm not interested in any cheap chains. A high quality place with a couple of locations is fine. Off the beaten path and/or with interesting and unique dishes would be a plus.
Thanks in advance!