Archive for 'Japanese'

Unconventional Ramen From Open Kitchen Makes Up For Weak First Visit

A first visit to Open Kitchen on William St. (at Beaver) did not go well. Not all of the stations were open, things seemed disorganized, and the employees didn’t seem to be on their game. Did I mention the food I got was not that great, but they do have good coffee? Luckily, this time the food was better and the operation seemed to be running more smoothly.  Read more »

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.  Read more »

Eating Japanese Curry At Maid Cafe NY Was Only A Little Bit Weird

I wasn’t sure what to expect when walking into Maid Cafe NY on Centre St. (at Walker) in Chinatown. Would I be accosted by ladies dressed as maids? Would the food be terrible? Neither of these turned out to be entirely true, although the cafe is probably better used as the source of Japanese sweets than a solid lunch.  Read more »

Zutto’s $10 Ramen Special Is Perfect For A Case Of The Mondays

Most of our ramen options downtown fall into two categories: More than $10, or from a deli. It’s a pretty sad situation, really, especially compared with most other parts of Manhattan. Long ago I saw an ad on another site advertising $10 ramen on Mondays at the Japanese spot Zutto on Hudson St. (btw. Jay & Harrison). That’s about the only time I’ve seen restaurant ramen offered at that price within the Downtown Lunch boundaries, so I had to check it out.  Read more »

Soma By Nature Swaps Name, Adds Bento Boxes & Japanese Baked Goods

Soma By Nature has been a standby for Korean food in the Financial District with sushi and a few other Japanese offerings pushed to the side. On Friday I noticed they have changed the name to BentOn Cafe (of which there is a location in Midtown), although the sign promoting the $6 Korean lunch specials remained outside. What has changed is a rack of grab and go bento boxes and Japanese sweets prominently featured near the Korean food station.

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Akimoto Sushi’s Maki Special Does Not Live Up To Minimal Expectations


At this point, there are few Japanese spots we have not checked out in Downtown Lunch territory, save the ones that don’t have lunch specials below the $10 mark. One that I had walked by many times but not tried was Akimoto Sushi on Church St. (btw. Duane & Reade streets). A look at the lunch menu showed the usual bento boxes, donburi, noodles, fried rice and noodle dishes as well as maki rolls. On a warm day, sushi sounded good, but in the end I was a little disappointed.

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Takahachi Bakery’s Buns Might Be Their Best Lunch Bargain

This site has already checked out some of the more traditional lunch options at Tribeca’s Takahachi Bakery on Murray St. (at Church). There was the Japanese pizza and fried cream gravy sandwich (aka, croquettes), and then the ginger beef sandwich. The one thing we hadn’t really tried was the large variety of savory and sweet buns offered on a daily basis. With fillings like ham and cheese, red bean and curry beef, clearly these had to be sampled.

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