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East Japanese Restaurant

  • Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi
  • Price Range: $$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
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  • Reader Rating:

    7 out of 10

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    1 Reviews | Write a Review

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Hours

$9.50-$18

Payment Methods

American Express, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Lunch
  • Take-Out

Alcohol

  • Sake and Soju
  • Full Bar

Reservations

Accepted/Not Necessary

Profile

The Gramercy 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 plate—most range between $1.25 and $4—and 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.

Note

The other Manhattan branches of East do not have conveyer belt service.

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