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May 20, 2012 06:52 AM


Today from 11 to 6 on Park Ave between 39th and 40th Streets Japanese Fair, many booths, a ramen contest, where your vote counts. it should be awesome

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  1. Total mess and totally disorganized.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Ricky

      Long lines for the ramen, a famous Japanese singer cancelled, but the dancing was nice. The other street food was good. Hakata Ton Ton had delicious pork on skewers. I also had good okonomiyaki, which is very similar to Filipino Okoy . I do not know who won the ramen contest. My vote was for Misoya, Although, I agree it was somewhat disorganized, I thought it was fun.
      Also, one of the MC's mentioned an Izakaya restaurant in the East Village that she said was good. It has no sign, and the food is of Kyushu style. Does anyone know the name of this place?

      1. re: foodwhisperer

        East Village? Are you sure? I know of two Kyushu style Izakayas but they're both in the West Village. Have you been to Ootoya yet? Its great.

        1. re: Ricky

          I don't know Ootoya, but I will find it. She said East Village, with no sign and downstairs. But I like Kyushu food, so I will definitely try Ootoya.

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            8 W 18th St
            Japanese family food. Nice. Seems to be a bit of home for Japanese expats.Expect regular fare.

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                I love Ootoya too. I had some service issues right after the grand opening (i.e., servers were not trained enough, they mixed up my orders big time). Their service has greatly improved since and their food is pretty good.
                * For more photos:

                I was also at the Japan Block Fair. Yes, it was a bit disorganized but it was fun. I liked Hakata Ton Ton's skewered pork in spicy sauce.
                * For more photos:

                One week prior to that, there was another Japanese fair at Central Park called "Japan Day" and all the food was served for free: ramen, udon, gyoza, beef bowl (gyu don), tea, Japanese snacks, pastries, roll sushi, everything.
                * For more photos:

                1. re: kosmose7

                  i was at Japan Day a few years back in Central Park, the lines were so long for the food. The Japan Fair the lines were pretty short, except for the ramen contest. I saw there were 4 more scheduled this year. I will try Ootoya

              2. re: wewwew

                Yeah, Ootoya is a good addition to the NYC scene. I was surprised to hear about their pricing though. But I guess that's the price to pay for being in a high-rent district. In Japan, Ootoya is a good reliable teishoku-ya where one can eat a complete meal for around $10. They're located all over Japan with almost 200 shops in the Kanto (Tokyo) area, with locations in shopping malls, airports, and major thoroughfares (someone on Yelp described them as the Applebee's of Japan... I get the point, but it's certainly not analogous from a quality standpoint). After tasting a few items, I'm really hooked on their version of oyakodon.

                As for the Japan Fairs in NYC, I stopped going several years ago as they were never worth the trouble. I knew some of the organizers, and never envied their jobs, as they were usually in way over their heads. And the dip in quality of food stuffs was unavoidable.

                1. re: E Eto

                  Hey Eric, did you try their demiglace hamburg. I thought it was very good by NYC standards.

                  1. re: E Eto

                    Thanks for the recommendation on Ootoya. I don't find their pricing outrageous considering the cost of rent in Manhattan. They are offering the lunch menu at dinner time , which has "sets". These are quite filling and reasonable. Two of us ate , had 2 sets, 2 additional dishes, and 2 desserts for about $25 each. True in Japan Ootoya charges about $8-$10 for a set, but compared to what I spend in most Japanese restaurants $25 is quite reasonable. The food is good ( i love their tofu and their curry dishes). The atmosphere of the place and the menu, the clientele, gives me a very nostalgic feeling of Japan.

                    1. re: E Eto

                      Eric, it seems to me that similarly to Ippudo, the Ootoya in NYC has upped its standards a bit in terms of decor, food amount, and quality. There's no way they could offer the set meals they're offering here for $10. In fact, I'd say the two meals I've had there were great deals.

          2. There seems to be one of these in differing areas every few weeks. Sorry I missed this one.

            Look for the Japanese Sake and Shochu tasting festive on Sunday June 3rd. In Brooklyn. Search Nishimoto New York Premium Sake & Shochu Tasting Event.