Jim mentioned the uptown Menchanko-Teis and said he had heard the one in the World Trade Center was awful
I work in the WTC, so I've eaten there. I wouldn't say it was awful.....it's for sure not in the class of the ones uptown; indeed, it's just "ok". But when it's pouring out, and you work upstairs, and you have to eat quick....well, it's better than Sbarro. :-)
i work on 57th street and menchanko-tei is where i lunch whenever i can get away. finally! a place that i can go back to again and again and again...
since you work in the wtc, do you know if the little japanese restaurant right on the side of the bankers trust building is still there? it was (and hopefully still is) on greenwich street, just a 100 yards down from the liberty street intersection. they sold very satisfying fried rice; also soup, which i (shamefully) never tried. i was soooo in love with the rice, you see. if its still there, i think you'll do very well giving them a chance.
The Japanese soup place is still there, and it's very good. Way better than the Menchanko-Tei in the WTC concourse. In a league with the uptown Menchankos.
I haven't tried the Japanese place upstairs yet. I'll give it a shot on your recommendation.
Sophie's Cuban is still there and still good. Place does get very smoky (not cigarette smoke, cooking smoke), but the food is good and $6 gets you a meal.
I went there last Wednesday for a quick dinner before Willie Gluckstern's annual blind champagne tasting. I knew I wanted noodle soup, but didn't know what else to order. Fortunately, a regular was seated next to me at the bar and gave me some recommendations.
Besides the soups (I had the regular Menchanko soup, although she prefers the "rich pork broth" soups, but I wanted a clear broth), I enjoyed a fish cake with burdock oden and fresh steamed soybeans with salt. These were lovely, tender crisp and green - I'd never had soybeans like this, they were almost as sweet as sugar snap peas. I'd request a lighter hand with the salt next time though.
Jim, next time you go there, try a side of these lovely veggies, and maybe you'll change your mind about only getting soup here (see "what Jim had for dinner").
actually, that might have been me who mentioned that to jim in a post once before. i used to work down there. yeah, it certainly doesn't suck bonkers, but it's nowhere near the ones in midtown.
i think howler might be talking about eisay, which is a little hidden spot upstairs around the corner from the japanese restaurant on the corner. i think wayne also is a big fan of the place. he suggests you sit at the sushi bar and let the chefs work their magic. i ate there quite often though never at the sushi bar. if you need more specific directions, let me know.
also, on the same block a little further down is sophie's cuban. i used to go there once a week. i loved their passion fruit shakes, beef patties, and sandwiches. also their picadillo. great bang for the buck, big portions. their cuban sandwich is okay, but i liked the chicken sandwich better - put both green and red hot sauce on that puppy and you'll be good to go. definitely get the passion fruit shakes. have fun. i heard they opened up a new korean place down there too. you should try to find it.