One of the best places to sample panini in San Diego is Sogno di Vino (1607 India St. in Little Italy). A wine bar at night (the name translates as "to dream of wine"), Sogno's panini shine during the day.
One way to think about an izakaya is as a Japanese gastropub. Another may be as the Japanese version of tapas bars. Hillcrest's Ramen Izakaya Ouan (3882 Fourth Ave.) is perhaps best understood in that latter vein.
In the last half decade, real Sichuan cuisine has arrived. There are now at least four Sichuan restaurants on Convoy Street alone—Spicy City, Spicy House, Szechuan Chef and FuAn Garden (4768 Convoy St.).