Manaita is a small, friendly neighborhood izakaya with a very good sake selection. The decor is totally unpretentious, with seating at a slightly cramped counter that's occupied by local customers who seem to all know each other. The wide-ranging menu is hand-written (and can be rather difficult to decipher), offering everything from grilled meats and fish to inexpensive rice dishes and teishoku fare.
Some highlights from a recent visit included grilled anago eel, yakitori made with jidori chicken, and nama-fu (Kyoto-style wheat gluten cakes) grilled with miso dengaku-style.
We also had a vegetable tempura that was a bit oilier than we would have hoped, but the huge warm-vegetable platter, with at least ten different seasonal vegetables, was a winner. From the menu description we had expected a bagna cauda-style anchovy sauce, but what we got were several whole anchovies scattered among the vegetables - a pleasant surprise.
We ordered our first tokkuri of sake from the menu but after that the owner took the lead, suggesting sakes that would pair well with our food (including a sturdy nigori that stood up well to the anchovies). Budget around Y6000 for a very filling meal with ample sake and a few beers.
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.