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BEST JAPANESE IN NEW YORK-VARIOUS STYLES

I have loved Japanese food in New York for decades now. I am blown away by the quality when I go. Here's some of my faves, and would love to hear others:

SUSHI:
KURUMASUSHI-Super expensive, but the fish is flown in several times a week from Tsukuji. Very authentic with real wasabi (not the powered stuff), and incredible soy sauce. The chef will help you understand which one to use when. Many types of toro, not just from tuna, and incredible fish from around the globe. Worth it from time to time, but big bucks cost.
KYOYA: Very authentic and beautiful kaiseki meal. Many courses that are not way over the top. You don't get a food hangover as I have from similar multicourse meals in western style food (Per Se).
KAJITSU: Amazing vegeterrean kaiseki in temple Shojin style. This is a must do. Used to be easy to get in. Good price for such a high end meal. Tea ceremony style tea at the end of dinner. 2 star michelin.
SAGAKURA: 100s of sakes (or so it seems) in this hideaway in the basement of an office building. Used to be mostly Japanese, but more of us westerners now. Great tapas in this Izakaya style place.
SUSHI GARI: Much more worthwhile for fusion style omikase then Masa at a much better price (not as snooty, and great quality). Both Masa and Gari much better than Nobu.
TORI SHIN: 1 star michelin for this yakitori place upper east side. Really amazing.
OMEN: WOnderful feel good comfort food Japanese style.
DONGURI: Great comfort food and many very interesting small plates. Try the Matiaki mushroom tempura, or the braised pork belly.
IPPUDO: Great ramen.

I can keep going, but this is enough. What else am I missing?

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Sakagura
211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017

Donguri
309 E 83rd St, New York, NY 10028

Gari
370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

Kyo Ya
94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

Ippudo
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

Kurumazushi
7 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

Kajitsu
414 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

Omen
113 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

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  1. Brushstroke.

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    Brushstroke
    30 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

    3 Replies
    1. re: KA1555

      I will try that, but I am worried; is it an elegant ryokan style kaiseki that is authentically Japanese, or is it more Americanized. I am not sure, but I think Sugiyama seemed that way to me. Brushtroke sounds like it certainly has the right chefs, but do they try to stick to the true Japanese style? That is my preference (When in NY, eat as the Japanese do). Have you compared them to Kajitsu or Kyo Ya?

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      Sugiyama
      251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

      Brushstroke
      30 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

      1. re: foodlovergeneral

        I was not impressed by Brushstroke.

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        Brushstroke
        30 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          What was it that you didn't like? What other Kaiseki places did you like?

    2. Agree with Sushi Gari. here are my other favorites.
      1) Blue Ribbon
      2) 15 East
      3) Sushi Yasuda.

      best Ramen in the tri state area is Santoka ramen in the Mitsuawa shopping ctr in Edgewater NJ

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      15 East
      15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

      Sushi Yasuda
      204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

      Blue Ribbon Sushi
      119 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

      7 Replies
      1. re: vidyoh

        Santoka ramen was grrreat and inexpensive. How does it compare with Ippudo or with totto ramen in your view?

        I was only at Blue Ribon once; I didn't have a good sense of their sushi from that. Is it Americanized (California role), fusion (like Massa, Gari and Nobu), or traditional (like Yasuda, and Kurumasushi). What about 15 east?

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        Blue Ribbon Sushi
        119 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

        1. re: foodlovergeneral

          15 East is terrific. Different league than Yasuda, in my opinion. Better. It is not Americanized. The chef is highlly skilled, very attentive.

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          15 East
          15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

          1. re: foodlovergeneral

            Blue Ribbon sushi serves both Americanized/creative rolls as well as nigiri sushi. Their nigiri have been decent but not definitely as good as other (proper sushi) places whenever I've had them. Sometimes the knife technique is a little sloppy, too.

            I'd rather walk over to Ushiwakamaru if I'm in that neighborhood.

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            Blue Ribbon Sushi
            119 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

            Ushiwakamaru
            136 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

            1. re: kathryn

              Blue Ribbon is one or two tiers below 15 East and Yasuda. I would never go there if I didn't have to.

            2. re: foodlovergeneral

              Santoka+ Better noodles, better broth (more complex) and better pork belly. Spicy Miso Ramen is the go to dish. Blue Ribbon has one of the best and most affordable Omakase meals in the city.

              1. re: vidyoh

                I agee. I always liked Santoka in Japan and Hong Kong, and I am glad that Mitsuwa has one too. Whenever I go to Mitsuwa, I try to have a bowl of their spicy miso ramen and chashu don combo. It is, in my opinion, better than most other ramen shops in Manhattan.

            3. re: vidyoh

              15 East and Yasuda are great, but blue ribbon is pretty mediocre, its basically just as expensive as any of the good places except that its like 2 notched below quality wise

            4. Momokawa for seasonal Kyoto style, Hakata Tonton for tonsoku izakaya, Takashi for yakiniku. Aburiya Kinnosuke for decent robatayaki and other upscale izakaya fare....Ippudo is the best ramen in the city. They make everything there. Santouka has been really inconsistent the last couple of years. I'm thinking they make soup in a central commissary for the other branches around the country....I lived in Tokyo most of my adult life. The top tier sushi places here are good. I've never been to the kaiseki places, but they sound good. Everything else is ok, rather overpriced for what it is...You might be interested in Tsukushi. Not gourmet, but an authentic experience...Gari isn't really Japanese food...And the word you're looking for is omakase, not omikase. Oh-MA-Ka-say.

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              Aburiya Kinnosuke
              213 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

              Hakata TonTon
              61 Grove Street, New York, NY 10014

              Tsukushi
              300 E 41st St, New York, NY 10017

              Ippudo
              65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

              Momokawa
              157 E 28th St, New York, NY 10016

              Takashi
              456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10011

              6 Replies
              1. re: Silverjay

                I think you meant to write Takashi for yakiniku. Not Takahashi?

                1. re: kathryn

                  Yep. One's a first name and one's a last name. Edited.

                2. re: Silverjay

                  That was a wonderful post, thank you. I have been going to Tsukushi for 8 years. It's great. Gari is fusion, as you say. Thanks for the correction. Aburaya is one great restaurant. What is "seasonal Kyoto style"?

                  1. re: foodlovergeneral

                    The menu changes with the season (which every good Japanese restaurant should). They call themselves "Kyoto style". Usually means more traditional fare (less dishes cooked with oil, pickling, salt grilling, white miso, etc.).

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      +1 for Momokawa. IME they also tend to have very good sashimi - much better than any other mid-range place in the city.

                  2. re: Silverjay

                    Anyone aware of good robatayaki that is not so expensive as Aburiya Kinnosuke? Look forward to Momokawa and Hakata Tonton. Sounds Great.

                  3. this is a good list, I'd add in

                    Soba: cocoron and soba koh; i think they're pretty good

                    Bohemian: that place is pretty money

                    And I agree with the other additions people mentioned: yasuda, 15 east, takashi, momokawa, hakata ton ton etc

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                    SobaKoh
                    309 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003

                    Bohemian
                    57 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

                    Cocoron
                    61 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002

                    1. We actually discussed this pretty recently now that I recall-

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/802458