Nearby Subway Stops
4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; N, Q, R at Lexington Ave.-59th St.
- Dine at the Bar
- Good for Groups
- Private Dining/Party Space
- Sake and Soju
- Full Bar
58th St. to 68th St., York Ave. to Fifth Ave.
This venue is closed.
There's something about Haikara that stirs the bubbe, or Yiddish grandma, within: "So? Are you sure this is kosher? Where's the brisket and matzah ball soup?" Indeed, this kosher Japanese eatery complies with Jewish dietary laws: sashimi and sushi, but no shellfish; delicately pan-fried gyoza stuffed with ground beef or vegetables, but no pork. Your bubbe would kvell over the maki rolls filled with smoked salmon and lettuce, not far from bagels and lox. The raw fish is perfectly satisfactory, but it's the grilled meats, like chicken yakitori, neatly skewered and slathered with a thick, smoky-sweet sauce, and great hunks of marinated teppan yaki steak, that attract kosher eaters hungry for something different from the delicatessen. The vibe is festive: everyone in the dining room seems to be celebrating birthdays, graduations, or engagements. Be sure to bring a dining companion you like to spend time with, as you may be at your table a long time while waiters ferry birthday cakes past your table. Small touches lend to the fancy atmosphere: warmly dappled yellow walls interspersed with white woodwork, plump cushions on brown leather banquettes, a fresh flower in a bud vase on every table. Up front, the sushi chef mans a small stand-alone sushi counter that doubles as a bar for drinks; in the back, a dormant pizza oven serves as a reminder of the kosher Italian restaurant that formerly occupied the space. Still, a little spruce would go a long way: "Oy vey, such a nice place, but would it kill them to put a new coat of paint on the walls?"Extra
This may be the only Japanese restaurant with a working pizza oven. That's because the space Haikara now occupies was previously the home of kosher Italian restaurant Il Patrizio, which had the same owners as Haikara. The second floor is available for private parties.Recommended Dishes
Beef or vegetable gyoza, $11.95; teppan yaki steak, $33.95; Haikara mixed grill, $32.95; smoked salmon maki, $8.95
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