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Kaiseki - Kyo Ya or elsewhere?

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Want to do a special holiday dinner of Kaiseki for a new special friend that's into Japanese food right now. Have heard good things about Kyo Ya but have not seen any reviews of anyone who has actually had the Kaiseki. Heard Sugiyama has a good Kaiseki menu as well but almost doesn't sound as exciting as Kyo Ya. Can anyone enlighten me?

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  1. sugiyama is excellent, i havent been to kyo ya, but i used to go to sugiyama pretty frequently and i think its worth it...ive been to kai as well, but i think sugiyama is better. I also like donguri on the UES, but you make have to call in advance for kaiseki (its a cool place w/ like maybe 8 tables and the food is excellent...surprised it doesnt get more reviews on this board)

      1. If you are considering Kyo Ya, you'll need to book the kaiseki meal very soon; they have been taking many reservations for the kaiseki as they recently some good press in the New Yorker. I've been several times and the food has always been excellent (but I haven't tried the kaiseki yet). Each time I've gone, though, the restaurant seems to have gotten busier...

        3 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Thanks for the help. Though now I'm really torn between Kyo Ya, Sugiyama AND Rosanjin. Since this is a present I'm trying to figure out which is the most exciting, well done, etc.....

          1. re: mar5

            I haven't tried the kaiseki of Kyo Ya but only the dishes there, so I can't give you an apple to apple comparison. however, in terms of the quality of the food, I think Sugiyama is far superior to Kyo Ya. It is very traditional though, so don't expect anything "innovative" or earth-shattering. It is simply excellent traditional kaiseki done the perfect way.

        2. I have to say that, though the food at Sugiyama is quite good, the place is ugly, albeit in a distinctively Japanese way; it's reminiscent of badly decorated places you sometimes find in Japan. And the atmosphere, I think, leaves a lot to be desired.

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          1. FYI Kyo Ya is currently NOT offering a kaiseki meal. I just called to make reservations and asked for the kaiseki and they told me it wasn't available. They might offer it again in the fall. That's the most I got out of them (their phone must be located in a terrible place because it's awfully hard to hear the person on the other side, and their answering machine message is also echo-y).