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Sep 26, 2013 05:57 AM

Rockmeisha Izakaya

Rockmeisha is such a friendly Japanese restaurant with great food.
The shrimp mentai dumplings are homemade and delicious. The mentai potato salad is great. Yes they use mucho mentaiko, it is common in the region the chef is from. Pork also. The Tonsoku ( pig trotter or pig toes) is my favorite dish and I don't know anywhere to get this. Other good dishes are the grilled chicken wings, pork ribs, octopus pancake etc. they also have a few non Japanese dishes like shrimp bun, and buffalo wings.
The juke box has lots of oldies from Elvis, to Doo Wop, to Rolling Stones.
Sometimes they have Sumo wrestling or 1960's wrestling on the tv. Great place. If you haven't checked it out , Please do so. It was completely empty last night, and that worries me because I love this place and want it to stay around for a long time.

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  1. i absolutely agree. I love this place. We went several months ago - it is a great place pre-theater for the Barrow St. theater. it was pretty empty, but i thought we were just really early for the GV crowd.

    1. Have you heard of Hakata Tonton? They are specialists in pork trotters.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        No. But now that you have mentioned it, i will definitely try it. Did you have the hot pot?

        1. re: kathryn

          Is Hakata Tonton an "anime" character?

        2. Glad you wrote this up. I had thought about doing the same. This place is as close as it gets to the small neighborhoody izakaya I used to dine at when I lived in Tokyo. I prefer eating here to many of the other izakaya in town that are cold and corporate or just too raggedy.

          Truth be told, the menu is rather quirky and can be hit or miss. I usually aim at the specials page, but will definitely get an order of the mentai gyoza. Buta kimchi is an izakaya standard that is done fine here is as well. The pancake dishes are so-so. I rather like the brussel sprouts with miso. The pork jowl, which has been on the specials page all summer, is great. One of my favorite pork dishes in the city- juicy and springy with nice proportion of fat and meat and lightly seasoned.... Personally, I prefer the tonsoku at Hakata Ton Ton. But there was a really nice foil steamed saba dish at Rockmeisha this summer that I still think about. And they do nice tako wasa/butsu/ sunamono with a nice dab of yuzukosho.

          Interior is also quirky- sort of a retro-late Showa Era. Service is good. I like the guy in the headband from Hiroshima. Always talk with him...Try their kome shochu. Not sure if it is listed on the menu but it is a chef pride item.

          edit:...and they play old "idol" programs and sumo or pro wrestling matches from the 70's not 60's.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Silverjay

            I have tried most of the dishes at Rockmeisha, The shrimp in the steamed bun was a special. It was kind of Chinese-like dish. But I love the vibe there. ALthough they said the guy who is usually in the kitchen quit. So I wonder if that's the guy with the headband you're talking about.
            Both you and Kathryn mention Hakata Ton Ton, I have had some dishes there, but never the tonsoku. Is it prepared the same way? Anyway, I hope his business picks up, it is a place, that I appreciate. You are right about the less corporate and cold type places, Rockmeisha is warm and special.

            1. re: foodwhisperer

              Hakata TonTon's restaurant concept is basically built around tonsoku, so they prepare it maybe a dozen different ways. The one at Rockmeisha is a little too knobby and plain for me.

              1. re: Silverjay

                Personally my favorite is Filipino style Crispy pata which is fried. But I like the Rockmeisha style a lot. In a collagen way it reminds me of the pig ear at Salvation. I look forward to trying the different styles at Hakata TonTon. I think all I ever ate at Hakata Tonton was the hot pot.
                I used to frequent that location when it was Fukuda ( which had really good sushi) and Taka ( first female sushi chef that I knew). So, I guess I should keep the tradition going and frequent Hakata Tonton also

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  I prefer Thai or Chinese versions of tonsoku that are long simmered and served over rice. It's a popular street food in Thailand. Sirpraphai's version can be excellent but it's sometimes prepared differently. In a pinch I will get the one at Qi Grill in W'burg, which makes it well.

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    Sounds interesting. I lived in Thailand for quite awhile but I never ate that dish there. I frequent Sirpraphai, so I definitely will try it there. Q1 Grill, I am not sure if I was there or not. I did go to a Japanese grill place that had a good grilled fish and some chicken parts and such. Not sure of the name.

                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                      Qi Grill is a Thai restaurant on N 9th. I think you are talking about Qoo Robata, the Japanese place on Metro...Sri calls the dish, for some reason, "Sauteed Pork Leg with basil". Anyway, the issue can be that they will sometimes just serve meat and not the collagen portion. So if you can speak Thai I would specify that you want all the proper foot bits.

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        Oh yes it was Qoo Robata i went to. Also, I will the pork leg at Sri, I can figure out in Thai how to ask for all parts. My mind must have gone blank. I have had Khao ka moo in people's home as a stew. But never with the little fingers that Rockmeisha has. More the big shank cut up. I guess i've seen it in street but never ordered it. Thanks for the info , I think tonite is going to be Thai Food . Not sure if I will venture into Queens or not.

                        1. re: Silverjay

                          Ended up eating sashimi and sushi tonite instead. Funny how that happens. Ate here.

            2. agreed when i lived in the west vill i ate there all the time, its def a good pot and you're getting the right dishes there

              their regular gyoza are good as well