Archive for '37th btw. Mad+5th'

Washoku aka Negi-ya is now Ronin


I was pretty bummed back in March when Luncher “Matt” told us that Negi-ya (37th btwn Mad and 5th), the Japanese spot formerly known as Washoku Cafe closed its doors. They were the closest place to my office that served a proper bowl of tonkotsu, not to mention all the off the menu snacks in the display case.

Well, Matt wrote back with some good news. Apparently they’ve reopened as “Ronin” – complete with pictures of Robert DeNiro and Jean Reno in the window.

From Matt:

Update on Negi-Ya. They’ve reopened under the name “Ronin.” Same cute, pleasant Japanese lady (who I presume is the manager). Same sushi chef. Takeout is now ordered in front. Waiter service with a red-bearded white guy who also may or may be the owner.
Friend and I ordered “Rice Burgers” – Japanese lady said they’re the only ones in the city to have it. $8. The “buns” are made of grilled rice and hold a filling of your choice. I got sliced pork and ginger and friend got chicken sukiyaki. Served with very good steak fries. Burger itself holds together surprisingly well, filling is well-flavored but a little salty.
They still have ricebowls, noodles, etc. More expensive (chicken teriyaki don is now $8 but organic). Also now a full tap beer selection in the back. Half-price happy hour 5-7.

I stopped by to get a photo and noticed that they’ll be hosting a grand re-opening party on the evening of May 25th (next Wednesday). Check out the flyer after the jump (it’s mostly in Japanese, so if anyone can translate, let us know what it says in the comments.
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The Italian Sausage at Mondello Makes Me Wish I Had Ordered a Chicken Parm

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I decided to begin my search for a proper Italian sausage hero close to home at Mondello (on 37th btw. Mad+5th). Their chicken parmigiana hero has been a favorite of mine since I started working in the area nearly seven years ago.

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Negi-Ya (fka Washoku Cafe) Closed For Business?


Yesterday, Luncher “Matt” emailed in with this report:

Washoku Cafe (aka Negi-Ya) may have closed! A coworker tells me the gate’s down, there’s no sign, and they stopped taking credit cards yesterday. It is the first of the month …

Calls to the Japanese cafe and noodle shop just get voicemail. Personally, I’m going to be very disappointed if the only source of decent tonkotsu this side of 40th Street has gone under. The weather might be warm today, but I know I’m going to need more soup before the summer comes.

Soup’s on at Negi-Ya (aka Washoku Cafe)

Soup’s on at Negi-Ya (aka Washoku Cafe)


The random swings in temperature over the last few weeks probably have a lot to do with the coughing and hacking I’ve been hearing up and down the rows of cubicles at work. It’s getting to be about that time when the office cold starts spreading. Hoping to preempt the first cold of the season, I headed to Negi-Ya (on 37th btw. Mad+5th), formerly Washoku Cafe, to fortify myself with noodles and rich, warm broth.

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Washoku Cafe Is Now Negi-Ya


Japanese bento haven Washoku Cafe has apparently undergone a change in name and management – and it looks like it happened a while ago. You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but it’s is now called Negi-ya.  Although everything looks more or less the same, including the awning- which still says Washoku.

According to the Negi-Ya website, they have been in the space since April, which is about the time that we noticed the addition of ramen to the menu. The menu still includes the sushi and bentos that Washoku was known for, but it looks like Negi-Ya’s focus is on tonkotsu ramen. It’s about soup season, so I expect to be stopping in to try it out in short order.  Early adopters, let us know how it is in the comments.

Negi-Ya, 9 E. 37th St. (btw. Mad+5th), 917-515-0238

Washoku Cafe adds Ramen to the menu

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It’s been awhile since we’ve mentioned Washoku Cafe, the Japanese quick lunch spot on 37th btw Mad+5th. They’ve actually made some adjustments to their menu recently. In addition to the selection of bento boxes, sushi and rice bowls, they are now serving ramen as well. I’ll definitely be stopping by soon to give it a try. With the weather bouncing from warm and sunny to damp and dreary, it’s just a matter of time before a nice bowl of soup is in order.

If any early adopters have checked out the ramen at Washoku, let us know how it is in the comments.

You Can Get Meat Sauce on Mondello’s Chicken Parm!?!

Photo courtesy of Ultraclay dot com

Back in September my quest to find the best chicken parm in Midtown took me to Mondello (on 37th btw. Mad+5th).  It was “satisfying, but nothing to write home about.”  And yet, it appears as if I missed something crucial that would increase the awesomeness of their chicken parm tenfold.

From the blog Ultraclay:

Where other places may dump pizza sauce on top, they offer a choice of regular and a meat sauce. Both have a salty, sweet flavor, but the meat sauce has a richness that adds another dimension to the sandwich.

Shut up! Meat sauce on a chicken parm!?! That… is… awesome. I don’t remember them giving me a choice, because if they had I would have obviously gone with the meat sauce.  Clearly it’s time to revisit this one.

Mondello Pizzeria & Restaurant, 3 East 37th (btw. Mad+5th), 212-684-2411

First Look: Washoku Cafe


As Eater reported last week, Washoku Cafe (on 37th btw. Mad+5th) has opened for business.  They’re running at about 60% right now, with bento boxes, sushi, and drinks packaged and ready for sale.  There is a coffee section in the front, but the hot food section in the back isn’t quite ready yet.


A look at some of the food is after the jump…

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The Chicken Parm Search Continues at El Mondello

Mondello Pizzeria & Restaurant
Mondello Pizzeria & RestaurantThere will probably never be consensus on the best chicken parm sub in Midtown, but the search will continue on. I had a enjoyable one at Tuscany Catering (on 55th btw. 5+6th), but was surprisingly disappointed by Little Italy Pizza (on 46th btw. 5+6th) and Park Italian across the street. The best I’ve had so far is probably at Labeleca on 40th btw. 7+8th (and their sister location La Bellezza on 49th btw. Lex+3rd.) In order to keep up with lunchtime demand, none of these places fries their chicken cutlets to order- and while they’re all fine, none will end the search.

So on Friday after I walked by the still plywooded Washoku Cafe (the new Cafe Zaiya’ish Japanese place that is opening soon on 37th btw. Mad+5th), I decided against my better judgement to check out Mondello’s, a standard take out pizza and subs place right next door. I say “against my better judgement” because I pride myself on my strange sense for good Midtown Lunch’ish food. There is a vibe a place gives off that lets you know it’s going to be good, and this place didn’t have it.  But there were alot of people in there, and sometimes you just feel like a chicken parm.   Read more »

Street Bentos From the Soon to Open Washoku Cafe

Washoku Cafe 
Chiyoda Sushi Remember when I wrote about the bento boxes Chiyoda Sushi (on 41st btw. Mad+5th) was selling out of plastic tubs on 49th btw. 6+7th?  Well it appears as if the Chiyoda guy has been replaced by another dude selling Japanese bento boxes out of plastic tubs in the same spot.  This new guy is from the Washoku Cafe, a new Japanese lunch place that is opening soon on 37th btw. Mad+5th.  The actual storefront isn’t set to open for a little while, but in the meantime you can sample their food from this random sidewalk vendor.  Every day he’s on 49th btw. 6+7th with different bentos, rice bowls, noodle dishes, sushi and rice balls (omusubi).  Almost everything is $6 to $7.50, and depending on the day he’ll offer anything from eel ($9) to beef bowls ($6), sushi sets ($7.50) to cold udon and soba ($6).

The guy is only out there until around 12:30/12:45 so by the time I showed up yesterday the pickings were slim.  What I got is after the jump…  Read more »