best shabu shabu
I'm looking for a spot to go to before a show at MSG on Sunday. The shabu shabu doesn't need to be expensive but it does need to be authentic. I'm going with a few Japanese friends.
Ideally near madison square garden -- walking distance or short cab ride. So midtown locations are preferable to downtown ones.
I'm a big fan of Shabu-Tatsu, but it's in the East Village and not very close to MSG. They only take reservations for parties of 6+, I believe... but they also have sukiyaki and some other specialties. Very good shabu shabu deal if you ask me.
If you want to impress your Japanese friends, then the place to go is Lan in the east village. It's pricey, but that's because they use better ingredients. I wouldn't bother with places like Shabu Tatsu if you're bringing Japanese expats.
If you want to stay within proximity to MSG, then a place like Naniwa on 46th(?) near 5th Ave would be a good choice. Another place that does decent nabemono (hot pot) is Ryoyu (aka Rio & Yu) on 45th(?) around 8th Ave. I'm not sure if they do shabu shabu though.