Hiroko’s Place: Where Spaghetti And Hot Dogs Become Japanese Comfort Food

There are places downtown that specialize in Japanese curry, sushi and baked goods. Then there’s Hiroko’s Place which pointedly does not offer sushi, but instead zones in on the comfort foods including casseroles and a version of spaghetti featuring unconventional ingredients. Somehow, this works, and I discovered that this kind of food is well-suited to a blustery winter day. 

While there are a few things on the menu for $10 or less, most of the good stuff is $11 or more. By good stuff, I mean Napolitan Spaghetti which is described as spaghetti cooked in ketchup with hot dogs. You also get sautéed broccoli, cauliflower, green pepper and onion thrown in for good measure, along with a dollop of potato salad on the side to keep things interesting.

The description of the dish sounded kind of gross, to be honest, but the combination of ingredients actually works. The spaghetti had a tomato essence but didn’t taste like straight-up ketchup as I had feared, and the slices of hot dog were a nice salty complement to the carbs and vegetables. This was a classier and better tasting version of SpaghettiOs with hot dogs that I ate as a child.

If you haven’t had this version of Japanese comfort food, it’s a nice change of pace from curry, which you can also find at Hiroko’s. Or you can get a coffee and check out the shelves of Japanese books by the door.

Hiroko’s Place, 75 Thompson St. (btw. Spring & Broome), (212) 625-1303


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