Manhattan – Greenwich Village
136 W Houston St between MacDougal and Sullivan Sts
Manhattan, NY 10012
It"s no surprise that Japan-philes flock to this austere sliver of a restaurant: Those new to the cuisine might not know what to make of the tiny cube of green-tea tofu that"s served as an amuse-bouche, or might blanch at the shrimp heads in the miso soup. Entrées feature classic maki (no Elvis roll here), sushi and sashimi, and little else. Put yourself in the hands of chef-owner Hideo Kuribara and you"ll be richly rewarded. A special might include sushi pieces topped with burstingly fresh salmon roe, the choicest slice of fatty tuna or a generous mound of shredded, fresh crab. Kuribara"s attention to quality and detail is ferocious: The wasabi is real (a rare luxury), and the intensely flavored, almost bitter, green-tea ice cream is house-made.
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- Average main course: $15. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V