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Izakaya birthday party for 10

I'm planning a surprise birthday for my husband and 9 guy friends. The group is all New Yorkers (so they're not interested in a trophy dinner) and two vegetarians (so a steak house is out). I'd like to find a restaurant ideally near midtown with an exuberant atmosphere but good food and good drinks. I was thinking an izakaya like Hagi would be good but they don't take reservations. I'd also like to keep it under $100 per person.

Maybe sakagura? Or Aburiya Kinnosuke? Other ideas?

Thanks so much!

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  1. Maybe Blue Ribbon Sushi & Izakaya on the LES? They have big communal tables.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      I second Blue Ribbon Izakaya. Its a really nice space, large communal tables, great cooked food and sushi and excellent cocktails.

      1. re: foodwhisperer

        It's a great suggestion but for various reasons I need to keep it in midtown.

        1. re: nsixseven

          There's also Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill near Columbus Circle. Not sure how they do big groups though.

          1. re: kathryn

            the Blue Ribbon at Columbus Circle has almost the same food as the one on LES. The head sushi chef at LES moved to Columbus Circle.

    2. Riki is pretty likely to let you get out under $100 a a head, seems like it should have a spot for a party of 10 and has a snow pea and chili sauce dish that is one of my favorite vegetable snacks around for the non meat consumers. I don't think that exuberant is an adjective that I'd use on sakagura, aburiya kinnosuke or riki, but I'd feel more comfortable if my party was exuberant at riki for whatever that is worth.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Alan Henderson

        I haven't been to Riki. Which place do you think has the best food?

        1. re: nsixseven

          I've been to group parties at Riki. Food is nothing special but atmosphere can be lively and really, it's like Hagi in that it's better for drinking.

          Soba Totto is a couple of notches better and has pretty much the same menu as Yakitori Totto and some overlap with Aburiya Kinnosuke (they are all run by the same company). It's another one to consider.

          All these Japanese places will work with you on budget and menu composition.

          1. re: Silverjay

            I would agree on pretty much all points that Silverjay raises.

            1. re: Silverjay

              WIthin that restaurant group, which one would you suggest? They're all so close together.

              1. re: nsixseven

                Well if Yakitori Totto takes a group of 10 reservation I would go there but I don't think they are set up for that. So I would do one of the others.

        2. not in midtown, but im pretty sure kasadela would fit the bill and if you make a res they could fit you
          https://www.lauhound.com/2011/02/kasa...