6 at Bleecker St.
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Kobe club has closed, but a new Japanese butcher shop (and an old supplier of Kobe Club) is about to beef up the city’s supply of wagyu. Japan Premium Beef, Inc. was founded for the purpose of importing wagyu-style American beef (or washugyu) back to Japan, since raising the cattle on an Oregon farm and shipping it overseas is cheaper than importing the massive amount of special feed required to raise it in Nippon. But the mad-cow scare prevented export, so the company now concentrates on supplying its luxuriously marbled meat to local restaurants such as Gramercy Tavern and Megu. Its first storefront allows the general public to purchase (among other things) its ground beef for cookout wagyu burgers! The butcher, Eiichi Yamamoto, has fifteen years of experience wielding katana knives, and claims that the imported Japanese slicer he’s using is one of the few that can slice raw meat into shabu shabu–thin slices, meaning the store’s meat doesn’t have to be frozen or aged.