Archive for '47th btw. Lex+3rd'

First Look (And Taste) at Dainobu Japanese Deli

First Look: Dainobu

Dainobu, the new Japanese bento place/grocery store on 47th btw. Lex+3rd, quietly opened a few weeks ago and it looks like they are going to be some serious competition for Cafe Zest (on the same block).

First Look: Dainobu

Taking a page from the Yagura playbook, Dainobu is half grocery store (with all kinds of wet and dry Japanese ingredients) and half lunch spot.

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Another Japanese Bento Place to Compete With Zaiya


Cafe Zest (on 47th btw. Lex+3rd), the semi-upscale Japanese bento place from the owners of Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th) is about to get some competition. A few doors down, the space that used to be a Burger King now has signs for “Dainobu” a Japanese Grocery/Bento/Sushi/Deli coming soon from Japan. Their website is no help at all, but I’m always up for more Japanese fun in Midtown! I’ll keep an eye on the progress…

Day 2 Worse Than Day 1 at Cafe Zest

Pandemonium at Cafe Zest

Yesterday Lunch’er Max sent me this photo from the line at Cafe Zest (on 47th btw. Lex+3rd), the new Japanese place opened by the owners Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th.) For their grand opening celebration they decided to offer everything for 50% off, yesterday and today, from Noon to 3pm. As you can see from the photo, yesterday got pretty bad, and they had run out of most everything but vegetarian bento boxes and white bread sandwiches by 1:45. Apparently today, it’s even worse. From the comments:

Walked over at 12 today, and man – the line was horrendous. For the usual folk who have just an hour lunch, it’s def’ not going to work out. We thought the 12pm lunch would be less crowded as 1pm is the more favored lunch slot – but we thought wrong. Apparently, Zaiya fans have all heard about Zest already. The line outside the door was about 70 deep at 12:15ish. There goes my plan for stocking up on ITO teas!

A review from somebody who stuck it out, after the jump…  Read more »

Don’t Forget 50% off Day at Zest by Zaiya: A friendly reminder about the grand opening special going on today and tomorrow at Cafe Zest on 47th St. btw. Lex+3rd.  Everything is half off from Noon to 3pm, so if you're a fan of Cafe Zaiya, you may want to be there for this one.

Zaiya Opens Cafe Zest in Midtown East, With Full Restaurant Coming Soon


Finally some big time, super duper exciting news for Midtown Lunch’ers on the East side (yes, I just typed the words super duper.)  Cafe Zaiya (41st btw. Mad+5th), winner of Best Japanese Take Out in the Midtown Lunch Readers Poll, has opened “Cafe Zest by Zaiya” in the space formerly occupied by the 47th St. Japanese Convenience Store (on 47th St. btw.  Lex+3rd.)  A slightly upscale version of Cafe Zaiya, Cafe Zest sports an almost identical line up of goods, with a nicer (albeit much smaller) dining area in the back.  Sandwiches, bento boxes, rice balls, and a full dessert bar towards the back- plus they’re selling pre-packaged goods from Nonoca, a new restaurant concept opening in August (but more on that in a bit.)

Since the convenience store closed in January, I’ve been closely monitoring the progress, wondering what would end up in the space (and worrying it would suck.)  Now that Cafe Zest has opened, I can pretty much say that we couldn’t have done any better than this.  And I have even told you the best news.  That, plus your first look inside the new Cafe Zest, after the jump…   Read more »

Bits & Pieces (the Plywood Edition)


The rennovation of the 47th St. Japanese Convenience Store between Lexington & 3rd continues on, and I got this look inside.  It’s hard to make out exactly what is going to happen to this place, but as long as they keep all the bentos and fun stuff they used to serve (at fairly low prices) it should be good.  The store, which is owned by the upstairs restaurant Amakusa, has been closed since January.


Major plywood just went up at the original Kati Roll location on 46th btw. 6+7th, covering not only Kati Roll but another location next door.  Still no word on what may be moving into the place… but from the last bit of info I got, it probably won’t be a Midtown Lunch.

Speaking of speculation, info about the Strawberry space in the McGraw Hill plus the Indian buffet on 37th St., after the jump…  Read more »

Takoyaki Comes to Midtown @ the 47th St. Japanese Convenience Store & Deli

When you say “Convenience Store”,  good lunch’ing is not really the first thing that pops into my mind.  Sure, I like a Drake’s Apple Pie just as much as the next guy, but old hot dogs and a slushy don’t really make an appealing lunch in my book.  Take “Convenience Store” and add the word “Japanese” to the front, and now you’re talking. 

In between checking out the Steak Truck on 47th & Park, and meeting a friend for lunch on 47th & 3rd, I stumbled upon this little gem of a “Convenience Store” and wondered why the hell nobody emailed me about it!  Stop hoarding places from me people.  Especially Asian Food.  It’s not right.  (Even though discovering it myself made it that much more awesome!) 

What they have, Japanese Convenience Store Food Porn, and a +/- after the jump…  Read more »