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Sep 5, 2008 03:29 AM

Where to find the best authentic Japanese (NOT sushi) in Manhattan?

I used to live in Japan, and I am craving real, fun Japanese food.

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  1. 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! =)

    3 Replies
    1. re: silencespeak

      Thank you for the tips. I guess I am looking for more home cooked or small dishes, as opposed to just soba/ramen. Yakitori sounds great. Wish I could go to Matsugen, but it is a bit out of my range right now.

      1. re: jjroesch

        for home cooking go with tatany 72

      2. soba-ya
        have not been to soba koh, but many think their noodles better, though the menu is more limited soba wise

        menkui tei is supposed to be good, i haven't been

        i really like tatany 72 for non-sushi japanese in a neighborhoody sort of place

        for upscale try matsuri

        1. 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.

          Yakitori Totto
          251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          152 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

          Aburiya Kinnosuke
          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

          4 Replies
          1. re: Silverjay

            This is unbelievably helpful. Thank you so much!

              1. re: Silverjay

                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?)

                1. re: cimui

                  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.?.?..

              2. 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:

                1. uptown: Tori Shin ...
                  downtown: Kyo-ya
                  down-downtown: Uminoie