Mon-Fri, 11:30am-2:30pm and 6pm-2am; Sat, 6pm-2am; Sun, 5:30pm-12:30pm
4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
This time-worn izakaya—a kind of Japanese pub devoted to sake, beer, and small dishes—is a warren of rooms, including several sit-on-the-floor private spaces. On one side of the long counter up front, diners gobble yakisoba, soba noodles sautéed on a griddle; on the other side, in full view, busy cooks grill skewers of exceptional chicken meatballs and lush tuna belly. Sure, you can get tastier yakitori at Yakitori Torys and more toothsome noodles just a few storefronts west at Menchanko Tei, yet neither offers such a wide variety of other treats. An almost exclusively Japanese clientele files in after work for spicy spaghetti with bacon and shiitakes and exemplary takoyaki—crisp-on-the-outside, octopus-filled orbs of gooey dough topped with sweet sauce. Look elsewhere if you’re set on elegantly presented food; this is fun, casual grub served without pretense.Recommended Dishes
Takoyaki, $6.50; grilled sablefish with sake lees, market price; octopus marinated in wasabi, $6