An elegant, izakaya-style restaurant situated next to its mothership (the calming, otherworldly Japanese spa Ten Thousand Waves), Izanami offers a whole new culinary approach to the Santa Fe fine dining scene. Not only does the menu completely eschew any sushi or fish-based dishes, focusing instead on organic and sustainably raised pork, chicken and wagyu beef, but owner Deborah Fleig and business partner Linda Tetrault operate a sake import and distribution company, which allows them to curate an excellent list of more than 50 different high-quality craft sakes. Their list demonstrates a wide variety of sake styles, from the unpasteurized, richly flavored namazake to the elegant, high-toned junmai daiginjos. Try the "soma no tengu" ("forest spirit") namazake ($14 a glass), made in a hands-off, low-intervention style, resulting in a lightly cloudy beverage with subtle nutty and earthy flavors. As for the small plates, the kakuni ($18), comprised of pork belly served with prickly pear and grilled peaches, was among our faves. It makes a great complement to the kushiage ($10), which are panko-crumb-encrusted strips of avocado and zucchini, and the kakiage corn fritters ($10), served with fresh wasabi grated off the root. All in all, Izanami makes for an excellent destination after a day of sauna and meditation. What an experience!
Lunch and Dinner
21 Ten Thousand Waves Way,