Mon-Fri, 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-11pm; Sat, 5:30pm-11pm; Sun, 5:30pm-10:30pm
4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
There are two ways to dine in this spiffy Japanese restaurant: in private, like an international tycoon furtively conducting business behind the curtains of a sequestered nook, or in public, at the congenial counter by the robata grill, where poker-faced cooks painstakingly monitor the progress of the skewers and planks they prop amid the embers. As at Kinnosuke’s sister restaurant, Yakitori Totto, there’s plenty of grilled chicken parts, and even more variations on a freshly-made-tofu theme—soothing yuba and greens in a subtle broth, and a black-sesame-tofu special chilled and presented like pot de crème. But here, diners have the option of grilling their own food on small contraptions conveyed to their tables, and the affordable small-plates menu is more extensive. Delicious chicken meatballs figure prominently in both restaurants; here, they’re more like tiny meat loaves, cooked and served on weathered wooden peels.