Where to find the best authentic Japanese (NOT sushi) in Manhattan?
Off the top of my head:
Soba-ya for Soba/Udon
Ippudo.. you probably know what that's for (for readers, "pork-soup" ramen)
9th btw 3rd and 2nd has a Takoyaki stand, also has that sobaya restaurant, a shabu shabu, and a sake bar also.
on 8th street (saint marks) between 3rd and 2nd, a restaurant called "Go" has solid okonomiyaki. That street has a bunch of other places for japanese stuff, yakitori and typical japanese finger foods, at night they're popular places for japanese and "gaijin" alike
If you were looking for upscale:
Matsugen = has a lot of variety.. shabu-shabu, soba, tempura, sushi/sashimi, and more... though it's expensive.
hope that helps! =)
For excellent seasonal cuisine and the best Nihon-shu selection in the city fun: Sakagura
For upscale yakitori fun: Yakitori Totto
For sashimi and robatayaki fun: Aburiya Kinnosuke
For grill your own fun: Gyukaku
For watch a ballgame and get blitzkrieged in a nigiyaka environment at a reasonable price fun: Izakaya Hagi
For just getting blitzkrieged on the cheap like you're under the tracks in Shinbashi fun: Kenka
For homestyle fun: Chiyono
For shochu and lean on the bar fun: Uminoie
For inexpensive, underground omakase fun: Tsukushi
The St. Mark's scene is not particularly good for quality Japanese food.
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
152 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019
213 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017
211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017
86 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003
34 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003
328 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003
25 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003
300 E 41st St, New York, NY 10017
i think you should dub this "silverjay's (mostly) midtown tour" and post it everywhere. i'm certainly saving it as a "favorite". thanks!
(one question, tho: i haven't had much luck with the sashimi at aburiya. mind if i ask what are you ordering so i can get in on the action?)
I simply order a set of whatever the daily items are when I"m there. I sometimes try to make a preference if there are several options. I find the sashimi there to be a good value with decent quality. It's not really a seafood restaurant. But I'm not a regular there by any means, so perhaps consistency or quality of the daily catch is an issue.?.?..
I am a HUGE fan of Hibino, 333 Henry Street in Brooklyn. It's right near Atlantic Avenue and has possibly the best inexpensive Japanese food I've had in the city. They specialty is obanzai and they make their tofu in-house.
Their daily specials are here: http://www.hibino-brooklyn.com/blog/