Hakata Tonton

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80 Good

If you’re not scared off by the pigs’ trotters–heavy menu, you’ll be richly rewarded.

61 Grove St., New York, NY, 10014



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The lowdown

Yes, Hakata Tonton’s menu is all about pigs’ feet — and if that doesn’t scare you off, you’ll be richly rewarded. This cozy West Village space would feel welcoming even without the extraordinary attentiveness of the staff, who greet you warmly at arrival and offer a quirky parting gift of Pez as you leave. In between, there’s a wealth of Japanese soul food to be had, virtually all of which incorporates trotters in some way. Sautéed gyoza arrive sizzling on the platter, tuna sashimi salad is entrée-size and peppered with savory bits of fried garlic. (Want even more allium? Try the fragrant but not overpowering garlic rice.) The pigs’ feet themselves, tonsoku, come in a variety of preparations, all of which celebrate the gelatinous, bony cut, and are recommended to be eaten with the hands, as is Japanese custom. The showpiece of the menu is the Hakata Tonton hot pot, a meal in itself on this small-plates menu. It arrives at the table a good ten minutes before cooking is complete; watch it boil down into a delightful, salty, porky, bubbling mass, and then dive in. A perfect evening: you, a friend, that hot pot, and two Sapporos. And a Pez to go, of course.

What you need to know

DrinksSake/Soju, Beer & Wine Only

Noise LevelCivilized