Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NY - Japanese Cooked Fare

Tuna Collar at Aburiya Kinnosuke

In the last few years a number of Japanese restaurants featuring cooked food, as opposed to sushi, have opened in New York. Most are downtown, but four excellent restaurants, with common ownership, have arrived in mid-town.
Yakitori Totto, 251West 55th Street, and Torys, 248 East 52nd Street, as the names indicate, are yakitori restaurants that serve charcoal-grilled skewers of chicken parts. In addition to the conventional breast meat, thigh meat, wings and chicken meat balls (all of which are very good), they feature harder to find skin (kawa), breastbone (nankotsu), kneebone (hiza nankotsu), what we call the pope's nose (bonchiri) and various organs, among other things. Both serve very good vegetable skewers as well, and excellent noodle and rice dishes (fantastic grilled rice balls (yaki-onigiri!) that are traditionally eaten at the end of the meal. In Japan Yakitori is traditionally an accompaniment to beer, sake and/or shochu, and both restaurants have extensive offerings in these categories.

Aburiya Kinnosuke, 213 East 45th Street, serves robata-style cuisine, featuring charcoal-grilled fish, meat and fowl in addition to stew (nabe) and tofu dishes. Lots of variety, mostly excellent, in a convivial atmosphere.

The newest member of this family is Soba Totto, 211 East 43rd Street, which not surprisingly, specializes in soba noodles that are made fresh on the premises. I had my favorite, kitsune (fried tofu) soba, which had a delicious broth unlike any I have had in Japan but undeniably authentic.

Bobby Jay


Anonymous said...

Its hard to get into Yalitoro Totto and keeps getting harder
I personally LOVE those strange bits they serve

You keep revealing my secret places!

Bobby Jay said...


It is true that it is annoyingly hard to get into Yakitori Totto. Try Torys, which is generally not hard and which usually doesn't run out of the rare cuts until fairly late.