Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jun 14, 2007 01:42 PM

Japanese pubs around St. Marks??

I wanted to get chowhounders' views of the various izakayas around St. Marks. We go to Go but are a little tired of it. But that's the sort of thing we're looking for. We like Soba-ya but what we're looking for now is something more downscale. We have a new baby and need something simple and easy. And it shouldn't be too much farther east than the first block of St. Marks or it starts to get too far from home for us (Washington Square area).

Any thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Kasadela 647 E. 11th St. Great dishes, good sake selection and ambience.
    Uminoie 86 E. 3rd St (between 1st and 2nd Aves), Good sho-chu selection, regional home cooking.

    7 Replies
    1. re: kayonyc

      Those are both too far for us. Anything further west that you'd recommend?

      1. re: kayonyc

        kasadela also ends up expensive for me, for some reason. there is also chiyono which is not full-scale izakaya, but snacky. it's on e6th st btwn 1st and 2nd, very downhome, croquettes and the like.

        1. re: bigjeff

          The food at Chiyono is a little *too* homey for me, kind of like Japanese food that I might turn out. I'd be proud of it, but I'd never try to sell it to anybody.

          1. re: Peter Cuce

            ya its definitely downscale, very different from kasadela and maybe good for the kid I was thinking?

            1. re: Peter Cuce

              I think there's a niche for this type of restaurant- particularly for busy or lazy Japanese expats. Not sure of their business model, but they could probably do a decent bento delivery business to Japanese corporate offices in mid-town. I'm sure they can make better quality stuff then some of the bento chop shops in Queens.

              1. re: Silverjay

                I think their business model is "going out of business soon." I've never seen a crowd in there. And what's with that giant communal table in the middle?

            2. re: bigjeff

              I recently tried Kyoya, another Japanese homecooking place, that seems a little more upscale that Chiyono. When I was there, I had a light meal of some fresh wild salmon sashimi, pressed sushi (oshizushi ), some special variety of edamame that had a slight corn flavor, and a bottle of sparkling sake.

          2. Isn't the noun "chowhounds"? But I kind of like "chowhounders".....Anyway, you can try Natori on SM between 1st and 2nd, which is more toward restaurant than izakaya, but is down-scale and inexpensive. Izakaya, by definition, are drinking establishements, so Soba-ya is not an izakaya. Village Yokocho, across from Soba-ya and next to Sunrise Mart, which does yaki-tori and some seasonal izakaya dishes, is less crowded than the SM places.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Silverjay

              Thanks. 1nd and 2nd are probably too far for us with the baby. But Village Yokocho sounds good. By the way, just to clarify: I knew that Soba-ya wasn't an izakaya but I mentioned it because I knew someone would probably suggest it and I wanted to clarify that it was a step above what we are looking for -- namely, an izakaya with ease, drinks, quick food, and the sort of informality that would allow us to bring a baby and not have to deal with anything too difficult.

              1. re: adorno

                i second Silverjay's rec of Natori...Natori is only about 70 yards east of Go, which you mentioned as a favorite, so it's really not very far...

              2. re: Silverjay

                I agree with silverjay, Natori might be what you are looking for. Still fun but not so crazy and crowded

              3. Menkuitei? Its spacious enough to bring a stroller in. And its not crazy rowdy in there.

                4 Replies
                1. re: DarthEater

                  Can you tell me more about it? Is it on St. Marks and what's the food like?

                  1. re: adorno

                    It's just off St Marks on 3rd Ave between 7th and St Marks. It's more of a noodle shop than anything else. I tried it once, found the broth to be too salty, but friends of mine like it. It's related to the Men Kui Tei in Midtown, I believe.

                    I too would recommend Village Yokocho although I've had to wait for a table on weekend nights at prime time. Any other time, though, it's not that busy, but I wouldn't bring a stroller in there since it's not too spacious and it's on the 2nd floor.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      Another vote for Village Yokocho. Grilled sardines = delicious. Cocktails after at Angel's Share...BigJeff and I are in the same boat with Kasadela - the sake list just kills you. I went the other day, had beer, and twice as much food, and the bill was much more agreeable.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        It is related to Menkuitei in midtown, but I think their broth and noodles taste so much better (probably due to high turnover of food at all hours.)

                        Menkuitei across from Cooper Union has excellent ramen and soba (Tonkatsu is my fave at $7.50) with lots of pork and seafood options. But it is a bad place to bring a vegetarian, as my friend discovered. It's low key, and usually a meal with drinks for two will run in the mid-20s so it's very affordable.

                  2. You can try Hasaki on 210 E 9th St btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave. This place has been opened for like 20 years, and their food is very solid and have a wide variety. I particularly like to order their tempura a la carte- ginko nut and lotus root tempura!

                    It is usually not too crowded during the weekdays.