Review Preview: Izakaya Ren

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Ian Froeb
Yakitori tare and a bacon-wrapped shrimp at Izakaya Ren
This week, I visit the new Japanese restaurant Izakaya Ren (2948 Dougherty Ferry Road, Valley Park; 636-825-3737).
The tako wasabi at Izakaya Ren is served in a bowl so small that a child could cup it in one hand. Tako is octopus, and inside the bowl is a little mound of chopped meat, slick with an unctuous, colorless sauce that gives the octopus the shine of a still-living creature. No, this isn't a meal to admire for its beauty -- it isn't a meal at all, but a bar snack, best nibbled between sips of a cold Sapporo while watching the NBA playoffs on the flat-screen behind the bar. The squishy chew of the octopus is nothing like the salty crunch of bar nuts, but does the wasabi's heat make you more likely to order a second beer? It just might.
Visit the RFT restaurant page late this afternoon or check back here tomorrow morning to see what I think.

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