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Jan 10, 2013 08:52 PM


I am new to not having much money. I had many favorites for Japanese. For example, I was in love with Kuruma sushi-the priciest sushi in NYC (perhaps equal with Masa). Now what are the choices for not so expensive? Which
1. Izakayas are great and authentic, yet cheap?
2. Yaki-niku?
3. Pork restaurants (such as Hakata Tonton)?
4. Sushi
5. Ramen
6. Soba

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  1. Although not in Manhattan, I strongly recommend Takesushi in Sunnyside, Queens. It was opened last summer by the same owner of Manhattan Takesushi, which is now closed. Both the owner and chef are Japanese, and I heard they used to work together with Ichumura san at Brushstroke.

    Their lunch special (cash only for lunch) for $11.75, or $13 for sushi lunch, including tax and tip, are amazingly good quality for what you pay.

    Their dinner special course (credit cards accepted for dinner) for $32 (+ tax and tip) is also great value.

    Attached photos are $11.75 lunch set and $32 dinner course.

    They currently have no liquor license and it is BYOB, which cuts down your dining expense even further! I bought a bottle of Calif. champagne at nearby liquor store, and drank it with my dinner at Takesushi!

    7 Replies
    1. re: kosmose7

      Thanks very interesting provenance for the chef. But California rolls are not usually a good sign for an authentic Japanese restaurant. Can you say more about authenticicity?

      1. re: foodlovergeneral

        California rolls are found at so many (even authentic) Japanese restaurants in New York. They are not necessarily a barometer to measure the authenticity of a restaurant. In many cases they are for some non-Japanese customers who prefer Americanized Japanese food. Simply don't order them.

        If you are referring to the rolls included in the lunch set, you have a choice of steamed rice or rolls. I chose the rolls because at least they didn't have any mayonnaise in them, and I will take them any day at $11.75 (including tax and tip) for everything including egg plant, tuna & yellow tail sashimi, deep-fried oysters, braised yellow tail head, rolls, salad, and miso soup.

        Takesushi is authentically Japanese.

        More photos here:

      2. re: kosmose7

        I think this-takesush-is my next dine out for Queens, for certain. There's a great Taiwanese restaurant in Queens a little bit undiscovered that this edges ahead for me called 101 Taiwanese cuisine with a great chef from major hotel in Taiwan. The sushi and other things look great.

        1. re: kosmose7

          I still haven't gotten there but thanks for this recommendation.

          1. Kuboya is very inexpensive and serves some yummy Japanese comfort food...5th St btw A&B, next to Minca...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Simon

              +1. Kuboya's spicy miso ramen is excellent, the service is very nice, and it is usually quiet. An amazing trifecta for so little money.

            2. Cafe Zaiya
              Katsu hama

              1. Ippudo is my favorite for Ramen, even though I don't go often because of the wait.

                It's not cheap, but Kaijitsu in the East Village is one of my all time favorite Japanese places.

                And if you're in the area, Hibino in Cobble Hill is my favorite local place. Shhh.

                2 Replies
                1. re: flower_puppy

                  I am so in love with Kaijitsu-but not cheap. Ippudo was a big disapointment for me. Tried Hibino. Not bad.

                2. Jin Ramen on 125th and Broadway is good for ramen. Hard to spend more than $20 a person - that more than covered a beer, fried chicken appetizer and a big bowl of ramen.

                  Izakayas: One I've liked is Sun Chan on 103 and Broadway. Not as cheap as ramen, of course, but much less than mid town. Depending on how hungry you are, I'd say about $30 per person (unless you start drinking a lot of sake).

                  Cheap sushi - I think cheap good sushi is an oxymoron.