Mon-Thu, 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-midnight; Sun, 5pm-10pm
1 at Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq.
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Takashi is an eccentric little establishment with its own quirky, slightly off-kilter agenda. The proprietor, Takashi Inoue, grew up in Osaka, eating the decorous Japanese version of Korean barbecue called yakiniku. At this yakiniku establishment, the focus is on beef in particular (“The West Village’s New Meat Mecca” is the restaurant’s motto), and more precisely the exotic innards of the beast. You can enjoy three varieties of cow stomach grilled at your table (“Please cook until charred,” the menu advises), tender slices of beef heart, “flash-boiled” Achilles tendon, and a $20 tasting adventure called the Tongue Experience, which includes three cuts, ranging from the very tender tip “to the more chewy, sinewy part in the back of the mouth,” according to our waiter.
never did try the Tongue Experience, although I enjoyed my encounters
with the stomachs (especially the third one, darkly charred and drowned
in miso sauce) and a tasty raw-beef creation called niku-uni, made with
sashimi-like wafers of raw chuck wrapped with shiso leaves and
spoonfuls of uni. The grilled short ribs at Takashi (dusted with salt
and sesame oil) are worth a special trip, and so are the milky strips
of rib eye, both of which are impeccably sourced (like all the innards)
from boutique farms like Creekstone, in Kansas, and Dickson's Farmstead in Chelsea Market.
The handful of non-meat dishes available at this polished little restaurant (peppery edamame, seasonal Korean namul pickles) are boutique-quality, too. So are the sakes (should you need to fortify yourself before the Tongue Experience), and the single, satisfying house dessert, which is a bowl of soothing, soft-serve ice cream infused with Madagascar vanilla and flecked on its top with gold leaf.Ideal Meal
Seasonal pickles, short ribs, beef cheeks or grilled rib eye, soft-serve ice cream with “the works.”