authentic japanese restaurants
I'm looking for real authentic non sushi japanese restaurants.
So far I've been to Aburiya Kinnosuke,Yakitori Toto,Yakitori Torys,Sakagura and Tsukushi.
Could anyone recommend somewhere that's new for me. My budget is very flexible.
2nd Ariyoshi. Though it's not much to look at by Manhattan restaurant standards it pretty much looks like any unfussy izakaya in Japan and the food is respectably good. Kind of like Tsukushi in that respect. It's tiny so make a reservation if you go at prime time.
I also like Soba Koh a lot - though I have yet to fully comprehend the intense reverence the Japanese have for soba (and I used to eat at the late lamented Honmura-An all the time). I mean it's very good but as far as I can tell it occupies a very special place in Japanese culinary culture - like 'if you only had one meal left' special - perhaps Silverjay can elucidate.
And of course there's Ippudo if you're looking for ramen, though for what in Japan would be a great fast food joint they have definitely upmarketed price and decor to the level of a moderately priced restaurant.
Also, though it is a sushiya, I recall reading somewhere that Shimizu makes an excellent katsu kare at lunch.
I eat soba at home all the time and occasionally at restaurant for lunch, but can't really fathom the idea of going to a soba restaurant for destination dinner dining. This is a Manhattan phenomenon. In Japan, you'd eat at soba places for lunch, maybe after work, or walking within your neighborhood but never, for example, to meet friends for dinner. There are a lot of soba places that won't even open on weekend evenings. On weekdays, they usually won't stay open later than 8 or 9. Even highly regarded places are considered lunch spots.
Just to adding my two cents to soba's place in Japanese culture. I think what silverjay says holds true for most people and for the majority of soba shops. I didn't take soba all that seriously either till a soba restaurant opened a few minutes away from our house that made me realize that there is a whole new world of soba out there. Since then, I've been a convert and I definitely travel in search of the perfect tray of zaru soba. Likewise, many people drive hours to eat my neighbor's soba.
My next stop is going to be Sakizawa in Nagano whose owners farm and mill their own buckwheat. Talk about slowfood. BTW, soba kaisek, an elaborate multi-course dinner or lunch, is offered by many finer soba restaurants (be aware, link contains food porn):
Oh, how I wish I were in Japan. Sorry I'm not much of a help in finding authentic soba places in Manhattan. :P
i've been back to Soba Koh a couple times recently...one on hand, i love the excellent tempura (esp the ebi), the cuteness of the place, the wood floors, the fact that they serve wine, the jazz, the service, etc...but on my two recent visits, i found their soba to lacking in buckwheat and a bit mushy...will have to try Soba Totto sometime to compare...
Chiyono on 6th is good, authentic homestyle Japanese. Matsugen, downtown, is a newish place in the Jean-Georges Vongerichten mini-empire. EN in the West Village is a branch of a Japanese chain- though CH coverage has been less than stellar. Hakata Ton Ton, a bit more east has gotten accolades here though. Kyo Ya and Sugiyama get brought up a lot for kaiseki cuisine. I often hear good things about Omen in Soho. Moderately priced places like Natori, Naniwa, and Ise usually do some things pretty well.
Omen used to be one of the few kaiseki- ish places. But its not really too good. Kyo Ya is excellent. Kitano Hotel also, En has improved tremendously Im not sure what happened but the staff is more Japanese and the food is 1000 times better than it was last year. Soba Koh has good soba I think about same as Soba ya ,, the duck appetizer is good at soba koh, and I like that i can get fish guts ( watta at soba ya).
the tempura at soba koh is ok,, buit i must say definitively that there is no good tempura in the US including california. Japan has tempura that is in a whole other dimension than tempura served here.. A real tempura master trains for same years like a sushi chef. It is an art, and perfect tempura is something to savour.
I second Silverjay's suggestion on Sugiyama, Hakata Tonton, and Kyo Ya. Umi no ue, riki, Hagi are ok.
Besides what has already been mentioned, here are a few more suggestions.
Katsuhama for tonkatsu along with their expanded izakaya menu items.
Takesushi for kushi-age, as well as the kaiseki dinners.
Ise for a decent kamameshi.
Torishin for the best yakitori in NYC (I like it better than the Totto chain)
Gyu-Kaku for their happy hour yakiniku deals (a good recession buster)
Donburiya for the donburi lunches as well as the izakaya fare. Kind of inconsistent, but the last couple visits have been pretty good. Upswing maybe?
Hatsuhana Park for the ladies set dinner, which might be the best deal in town, but only for the ladies. Decent small plate menu as well.
Not so high on Izakaya Riki these days, but I do like the Yakiniku Izakaya Riki better.
Udon West in midtown east for motsu-nabe.
Menchanko-tei only for the menchanko dishes. Otherwise, I'd avoid the other parts of the menu.
Naniwa for the nabe menu.
Ryo Yu for the nabe dishes as well. But these might not be on offer during the summer.
Go Go Curry for katsu curry.
Tebaya for Nagoya style chicken wings as well as the miso-katsu sandwich
Lan for shabu shabu, as well as the tasting menu.
It's hard to tell whether they're all connected and how. I went to W. 56 once, now I work closer to E. 49, and they do great lunch specials, but I hear the one in the Wall Street area has (or had a few years ago) a sushi chef who had worked at Nobu. I've never been to the downtown one.
re: E Eto
Agreed. Solid inexpensive drinking spot. Reasonable bottle prices. As we've covered in the past, best to order from the specials/ seasonal menu. Value over quality but a broad selection of items. Welcome to the world of most izakaya in the universe. Better vibe than Riki too. Good for what it is.
I haven't been in over 2 years, but used to go evey month or two with the old chef. DH and I went several times when new chef started, and didn't like it as much. I can't say the quality necesarily changed, but we just found less on the menu that we enjoyed and less of the unusual seasonal items on the specials menu.
309 E 83rd St, New York, NY 10028
Yes, this restaurant serves real kaiseki.... I mean "authentic." If you've been to Kyoto, you know what I'm talking about. Kajitsu is all about Kyoto: food, presentation, decor, service, dishware. There is nothing like this in NYC. The chef is young so that he seems to enjoy using American produce as well, which was quite impressive.
Good list, folks. Some place info ...
141 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
56 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Go Go Curry
273 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018
144 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011
309 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003
318 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
152 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019
En Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
248 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
213 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017
226 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022
211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017
1193 1st Ave, New York, NY 10065
86 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003
34 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
309 E 83rd St, New York, NY 10028
11 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017
4 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017
328 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003
805 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022
237 Park Ave, New York, NY 10017
58 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019
131 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017
43 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
58 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003
61 Grove Street, New York, NY 10014
11 Barrow St, New York, NY 10014
94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
300 E 41st St, New York, NY 10017
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003
137 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017
Yakiniku Izakaya Riki
250 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
Rio & You
328 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036
56 Pine St, New York, NY 10005
241 Church Street, New York, NY 10013
151 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017
11 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003
150 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017
1026 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022
414 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009
113 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012
re: squid kun
Go Go Curry is quite good, but it is not great and is a fast food restaurant (albeit a civilized one). For rapturously delicious housemade-from-scratch curry in a thoroughly Japanese atmosphere, the only option is Curry-ya. Their dry curry (an occasional special) was the best ever. Come to think of it, so is their ("wet") curry. They are perfectionists. For curry fans, this is as close as you'll get to heaven.
for ramen, my three favorites are ippudo, minca, and setagaya (in not particular order as it really depends on your taste, but if i had to pick just one, it'd be ippudo, though its not the best bang for the buck).
Soba Koh and Sobaya are very good, but I'd suggest going to Soba Totto for a more well-rounded restaurant and menu, the stellar service you get with Mr. M's restaurant, great soba with bite, freshmade every day (AFAIK) as well as a shochu-bar up front. They are of course sisters with AK, Yakitori Totto and Torys -
I actually had a very good curry at Hiromi's Place in Soho which is much like the home-style restaurants you will find in Japan vs. Go-Go which is a chain in Japan and yes close to places like CocoIchiban.
UminoIe should be highlighted as somewhere to get authentic Okinawan cuisine now that Suiba has closed. I haven't been there in a few years but it was always very good when I went and the owners very kind.
I'm glad to see theatrical clip joints like Inakaya and Ninja off the list.
I never have seen either Ariyoshi as something better than a decent izakaya that was subject to the same cabal of Manhattan suppliers that a lo of this list is - that's why the Sunnyside location seemed to be better...
I don't see Kamui Den on here but I'm certain it's gotten play on here as I no doubt see CHers there every time I go. That said, there are about 5 dishes on his menu that are executed reliably well, including his ribeye and jidori.
Saburi is the last I'll write about here - the only wafu-chuuka you will find in the city, and my favorite Hiyashi Chuuka in the city, just in time for the summer.
Actually Uminoie is not Okinawan cuisine. The girl who runs it is from an island in Nagasaki Prefecture. The menu is a standard eclectic koryori-ya, with no particular attention to Okinawa food. I think it's better as a second or third stop in the evening for shochu and snacks rather than a dinner destination...There used to be a grumpy girl from Osaka working there as well, but not sure if she's there anymore.
Soba Nippon's soba salad is one of my favorite salad dishes in the city, Restaurant Nippon also serves the same dish, but Soba Nippon's version is far superior as they put in more hijiki, more meat, and they top theirs off with fried soba noodles which add good crunch to the dish.
I've heard from many Japanese ex-pats that one of the best Japanese curry in New York is the one served at Restaurant Nippon. Story goes that, when Hideki Matsui (Yankees) came over to NY from Japan, he frequented Nippon but always told the owners that their curry was off. So when Matsui's parents were in town, the chef asked Matsui's mom for her recipe - and that is what they have been serving for several years. I don't remember the price - but I think it was slightly pricy for a bowl of curry,I always skipped the curry at Nippon because I couldn't quite justify the price. Has anyone had their curry? Any feedbacks?