Garlic bread and pizzas wouldn’t usually be the first things that spring to mind as Asian fusion dishes, but on the menu at the new downtown San Jose eatery Nomikai they keep company with other dishes that fall a bit more obviously into the genre, like sweet chili chicken wings, octopus dumplings or kimchi fries. And to be fair, the garlic bread is served with a Japanese eggplant spread, while many of the pizzas have toppings that draw on Asian flavors, such as duck with hoisin sauce or Japanese eggplant with Chinese broccoli and roasted red peppers.

In any case, these typically Italian staples are dishes that are almost always meant to be shared—key because Nomikai’s tagline is “social food.” The restaurant’s concept is small plates and communal dining.

Nomikai is the reincarnation of Koji Sake Lounge, which operated for seven years on S. First Street. As part of its remodel, the restaurant changed out its low lounge couches for large dining tables that can accommodate big groups or smaller parties seated communally.

The revamp also extended to the menu. Though sake definitely hasn’t been forsaken—the cocktail menu, for instance, still features sake-based favorites like the lychee martini—the establishment now offers a full bar. Japanese whiskeys are the star ingredients in new cocktails like the Japanese Old Fashioned, Salaryman or Hakushu Highball. Other cocktail offerings include the Ginger Margarita, Tokyo Sunrise and Thai Basil Mojito.