Everytime I go to Toyko, I look forward to two things: All those great little yakitori shops and taking people to an izakaya. In my experience, most izakaya are what great little pubs should be, friendly people, good laughter, good food and drink.
I have been to Lakuni many times over the past year, and while the food was never great, I wrote the stand offishness of the owners to a desire to cater to ex-pats. Thats fair enough. I told some friends from Tokyo that I knew of one place in San Mateo and off we went.
The're reaction was that it was the most UNfriendly place they had seen, and could not imagine they would stay in business in Tokyo. So at least now I know it is equal opportunity surliness. Is there anything in the Bay area the is close to the atmosphere I remember?