Times Square izakaya
- Midtown Jimmi Dec 14, 2006 02:26 PM
I'm meeting some out of town friends in Times Square for a show later at Town Hall. Thought an izakaya for dinner would be fun or something similarly funky. Suggestions? I'd like to keep to the west side near the theatre.
there's a cool little izakaya -- and i can't, for the life of me, remember the name of it -- below Iroha Sushi (which is itself next to Sapporo) on 49th street just east of 7th avenue. good vibe, good sake selection and a nice variety of snacks. nothing earth shattering, but very comfy.
I went to Hagi tonight, and I desperately wanted to love it. First, it's down a flight of stairs. I have this idea -- based on absolutely nothing -- that non-ground floor restaurants are somehow superior to ground floor restaurants (see: Kuma Inn). Second, the food is cheap, especially for the neighborhood. I don't eat meat, so I got grilled sardine with spicy cod roe, which was quite good. The sardine was a monster specimen, salty and crispy-skinned with a surprisingly delicate flavor, although the roe didn't taste like much except "spicy," and its texture was mushy and unappealing. The hamachi sashimi was very, very cold, just this side of frozen. It was a good sized portion for $7, and seemed very fresh. Or maybe just very recently thawed. Also had a clear soup with (one big) clam -- I've had better versions. The broth was awfully close to being just hot water with scallions. And a pan fried noodle with seafood. The coolest thing about this dish was that it was topped with that shredded tan seaweed you sometimes see in chirashi, and since the dish was served very hot, the seaweed was moving like those Chinese fortune-telling cellophane fish. However, it was extremely greasy and there was very little seafood in it -- some squid and cuttlefish and a very few tiny shrimp. Tons of cabbage, though. Not a bad meal, exactly, and it was a bargain, but it just didn't live up to my hopes. I did enjoy ordering the sake with "peculiar taste," although I didn't find it at all peculiar. Any recommendations for a next visit? I can't write the place off based on this experience -- maybe I just ordered wrong.