East Japanese Restaurant
Mon-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri, noon-11:30pm; Sat, 1pm-11:30pm; Sun, 1pm-10:30pm
Nearby Subway Stops
6 at 28th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
- Open Kitchens / Watch the Chef
- Private Dining/Party Space
- Sake and Soju
- Full Bar
16th St. to 36th St., First Ave. to Park Ave.
This outpost of the Japanese chainlet East is the place to take an impulse-buyer friend, because the method of dining involves snatching small plates from a conveyor belt as whimsy strikes. Pricing is distinguished by the color and pattern of the plateómost range between $1.25 and $6óand waiters tally up the bill based on the number of plates stacked in front of you. The vibe is noisy but relaxed, juxtaposing the traditional with the funky. Beneath a mural showing serenely waving rice fields, eager professionals vie for counter space with fashionably dressed Japanese customers. Anything off the conveyor belt is good: inside-out tuna maki with a mild mayonnaise sauce and scallions, glistening eel, sweet rice balls thickly spread with chestnut paste. There's edamame to munch on, plus seaweed salad, battered fish cakes, and sweet pastel-colored mochi balls. On the full menu are reliable mainstays, such as chicken yakitori, delicately sautéed vegetable gyoza, and rather heavily battered tempura served with a tangy ponzu sauce. Bento boxes, with hot and cold dishes, are popular. If you're blessed with children who love raw fish, this is a fun place for them to watch their meal ride the merry-go-round or to watch the sushi chef in action. And because prices are relatively gentle, your impulse-buyer friend can keep shopping afterwards.Extra
East also serves Asari Jiru, a smoky miso soup with clamshells at the bottom of the bowl. The shellfish are a nod to the bounty of seafood available in the port city of Tokyo. Note that the other branches of East in Manhattan do not have conveyor belt service.
Upstairs there is a karaoke lounge/dining room which is available for private parties.
Beef negimaki, $14.50; vegetable gyoza, $5; salmon skin roll, $1.50 for 3 pieces
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