Location: 273 W 38th St (btw 7th Ave & 8th)
Price: Varies $5 (plain) – $12.50 (grand slam)
In the hype of the Yankees winning the world series and Matsui winning the MVP award for the series, my favorite Japanese curry joint has been getting quite a lot of attention (NYtimes CBS) . This restaurant located in the garment district of midtown west is pretty much the shrine to all things Matsui.
Although Go! Go! Curry is a fast-food chain in Japan, this location is the only one in the stateside. But, the food tastes nothing like any fast food I’ve had! The brown curry tastes like it’s been simmered all day and is full of flavor and layered on top of that the Katsu Pork is crispy/juicy, as good as any good Japanese restaurant would make it. The beauty of this food is that truly it feels/tastes like comfort food for any soul who longs for such a thing.
The best deal is to go with another person and get the Grand Slam for $12.50 which is plenty for 2 people and it comes with an boiled egg, sausage, and huge piece of Katsu. But, they have any size to fit your need and your hunger. Just be careful if your new yoga studio ends up right by this place …dangerous.
-Location: 9 W 32nd St (Btw 5th Ave. & Broadway)
-Price: $16.95 for Ojinguh Dduck boki & cheese (enough for 3 people)
There are times when you really want to LIKE a restaurant because all the factors make it seem like it will be a great place to eat. From all the factors of close proximity to work lunch, cute girl handing out mildly false flyers in front of the restaurant, and most importantly the rumor they have tastiest version of your favorite Korean food: Dduck Boki! In the case of Arang restaurant located in the heart of Manhattan’s K-town they are known more accurately for their Spicy sautéed calamari & rice cakes w/ melted mozzarella & American cheese.
The dish comes out in two parts: The dduck boki and a another dish with rice, dry seaweed, & kimchee which you mix in with the sauce later. We discovered the serving they give can satisfy the cravings of 3 adult men due to the heaviness/greasiness of the dish. They gave ample rice cakes which is very filling but, the cheese was a bit overwhelming. Everything felt a bit too fusion. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the mixture of rice & sauce at the end of the meal, alot more than the actual main dish. This dish would go much better in the evening with some drinks and with other dishes more than eating it as a solo lunch meal.
Lastly, negative sporks for bad service. There were only 4 other customers in the restaurant and it took forever to order, get water, & checks. I thought Korean restaurants are suppose have good service??
Price: $11.50 for daily lunch special
Location: 211 East 43rd. St. (Btw 2nd Ave. & 3rd)
One thing I truly enjoy about NYC is the authenticity of the Japanese food that is served all over this city. There is something to be said about being served Japanese food by Japanese people in an authentic Japanese setting. Sakagura located in the Midtown East neighborhood of Manhattan & is one of those places you can quite literally escape from the normal NYC setting and end up in a place that might be straight out of Tokyo.
First off, when we arrive at the address of Sakagura we stand in front of an office building with a small sign indicating a restaurant inside. We walk through an office building lobby & down through a set of fire stairs to the basement when we come upon a restaurant entrance nestled in the corner. Inside we are greeted with a warm welcome from the Japanese hostess and she leads us to two open seats at the bar, opposite of the varieties of sake bottle lining up against the wall.
Their lunch menu consists of a variety of sets varying in price but, their best bet is the $11.50 lunch special sets. We got the “Maguro Gomadare Gohan” Tuna Sashimi Steeped in a ginger soy sauce over rice served with Soba Noodle. The tuna was slightly seared, fresh & delicious and the cold soba noodles were firm and refreshing. I enjoyed the mixture of the soba sauce & soba broth to wash down the food after the meal. It’s the perfect clean & refreshing meal for lunch and great value in a nice setting.
If you get a chance to go in the evenings, they have an extensive Izakaya menu (Japanese Tapas) and one of the largest Sake collections in the city. It’s the same owners as Decibel in the East Village so think similar but, classier.
It’s Tuesday afternoon and I’m itching for something that’ll coat my insides. I’m about to embark on a long awaited visit to the Margon Restaurant Corp, which has been talked amongst friends for months. Margon is known to have their highly coveted Cuban Sandwich…we shall see about this little warlock.
UPDATE – A very solid Cuban sandwich. Utterly satisfying for a quick and cheap bite. This little devil consists of inhouse-roasted pork, genoa salami, and Boars Head ham. It’s topped with swiss cheese, sliced pickles, and Margon’s special mojo sauce (which is actually just spicy mustard and mayo). All this is served between hot pressed Cuban bread with a touch of butter and a hint of garlic. Great for a meal on the go. Warning! Think twice about wearing that business suit or new jacket if you want to dine in. You might come out smelling like their cuban roasted chicken or pork chops.
We give it a 4 out of 5 silver sporks. While the sandwich was mighty tasty, and rather light for such heavy meat and condiments, it wasn’t quite “life changing.” 5 silver sporks are reserved for those most heavenly treats and Bar Rafaeli. Yes, her.
Till next time friends,