Wed-Sat, 6pm-midnight; Sun, 5:30pm-11:30pm; Mon-Tue, closed
L at Bedford Ave.
Slipping through the unmarked door of this izakaya triggers a spine-tingling sensation akin to something illicit. A curtain encases each mahogany booth: Some are cozy versions with L-shaped benches; others are more group-friendly. Dim lanterns and mirrors play up the mazelike atmospherics across three stories of walkways littered with pebbles and bamboo stalks. After an initial greeting, the waiter disappears. He reappears only when summoned by a discretionary buzzer. This tactic leaves ample time for relishing the deftly executed seasonal small plates presented on speckled ceramic dishes. Heavenly pork kakuni is slow cooked over three days to achieve a puddinglike consistency. White soy sauce, sesame oil, and yuzu pepper provide a citrusy marinade for the maguro carpaccio's chilled, slippery tuna slabs. Even a basic dish like the grilled rice ball gets carefully worked over; the charred outer shell sits in piping-hot shiso sauce with bitter scallions and rich, woody mushrooms. With so many temptations, one surefire solution is the omakase ten-item tasting menu, handpicked by the chef.Opt for Omakase
The chef's ten-item tasting menu is $92 per couple.Recommended Dishes
Maguro carpaccio, $13.75; pork kakuni, $9.95