Tag Archives: Japanese cuisine

Lunch at Neta (NYC)

[Translate] Neta an unassuming sushi restaurant called Neta, which opened in 2012 among the scruffy bars and cut-rate West Village shoe stores along 8th Street near Sixth Avenue. In the tradition of discreetly ambitious sushiyas everywhere, the façade of the storefront space is painted in black trim and covered in pale curtains. There are a few tables set along the walls inside, but most of the narrow, railroad-car-size space is taken up by the bar, which is made of polished ebony. The gray-shaded room is so devoid of artifice and decoration that it makes me wonder that it’s intentional so..

YO! Sushi (NYC)

[Translate] If you are looking for a casual Japanese meal and it involves with a conveyor sushi belt in the Flatiron district,YO! Sushi is an option. The futuristic looking, British chain restaurant has a long conveyor belt going through about the front half the restaurant, dividing the space with the open kitchen and two-top bench style seating right next to the belt. There were larger tables in the back for parties more than two. The restaurant is generally setup for a quick meal to pick up a couple of those conveyor belt plates but since it’s nicely designed and the..

Yoshimi at Hyatt Regency Mexico City

[Translate] During my time staying at the Hyatt Regency Mexico City, one of the staff members who was our appointed butler, Francisco mentioned that there is a fairly large community of Japanese immigrants to the city and while there isn’t a large enclave like the various Chinatowns and Koreatowns we have in the States, there’s a reason why there are a number of Japanese restaurants in Mexico City. He also informed us that this hotel was previously a Japanese-owned hotel hence the two Japanese restaurants in residence here. Of the two, we chose Yoshimi since we had a strong craving..

Japan Meets Spain at PAGU (Cambridge, MA)

[Translate] I have read good things about the new restaurant PAGU by chef/owner Tracy Chang (formerly of O Ya) in Cambridge’s Central Square. It’s a spacious restaurant with a variety of seating options, some of which change from a breakfast-and-lunch cafe-style configuration to a nighttime pintxos bar. There’s also a mezzanine section that overlooks the restaurant, a couple of main dining areas, and a counter surrounding the open kitchen. We opted for the a la carte menu instead of the tasting menu experience since we wanted to try a bunch of things that appealed to us. We started off with..

Dinner at ROKI Le Izakaya (NYC)

[Translate] We went to a new (as in one-month young) Japanese restaurant ROKI Le Izakaya. It’s a modern, spacious restaurant that is buzzing with activity ranging with people on dates (or at least pairs of people) seated and dining around the large square bar/open-kitchen. There were many six-top tables for groups around the main dining room and side rooms that were located toward the front of the restaurant. The music was audible to keep it lively but not blasting that I had to shout to my friend. The main issue with any new restaurant that tends to be it overwhelmed..

Dinner at Sushi Seki (Hell’s Kitchen, NYC)

[Translate] Sushi Seki in Hell’s Kitchen is a brand new location of Sushi Seki (there’s the Upper East Side and Chelsea locations) that is a stunning, large bi-level space. The main level is Bar Seki, a more casual experience featuring shared plates and a long 15-seat bar, complete with artisanal, craft cocktails with a Japanese twist, perfect for sipping before or after dinner. It also has an additional 80 seats for diners including a communal table for shared dining, as well as many banquettes and tables facing the fully open kitchen. A 6-seat Kappo/Chef’s counter for food enthusiasts who have..

Dinner at Sakamai – Very Good, Creative Izakaya

[Translate] Back interior at Sakamai Since Chinese New Year is still around (it’s roughly three weeks long) and my parents insist upon having a family dinner out, we ended up agreeing to eat at Sakamai. As a family, we like Japanese food but what appeals to us the most about Sakamai is the creative dishes served for an izakaya (a casual sake pub, so to speak). The menu has a few luxurious ingredients like uni (sea urchin) and foie gras dabbled with the likes of other ingredients like tuna or scrambled eggs. It is not your average drinking fare as..

Great Japanese Kaiseki at Kyo Ya (1* Michelin)

[Translate] On a recent weekend, D and I had an excellent, multi-course, seasonal kaiseki dinner at Kyo Ya. This hidden gem, 1* Michelin Japanese restaurant is found in East Village and it’s opened at least six years now. The restaurant does not have a website, any social media channels, and if you want to make a reservation (you need to make one at least 2 days in advance for a kaiseki), it has to be done the old school way — calling them. Even when you arrive at the restaurant, the only sign posted is “Open” and leads you to..

Very Good Omakase Dinner at Okra (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Okra is one of those few restaurants in Beijing where you have to find your way to your meal. Not too far fetched like going to Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB) but instead of walking down the somewhat sketchy, old school hutong, you would be walking around a maze of slick glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers that look like corporate businesses. When you do find a security guard right outside sitting on a corner of an entrance to a walled entrance to what may be another cluster of buildings, that is where you should be — The 1949 Hidden City..