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Kyo Ya


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#1 Orik

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 01:03 AM

Tucked away in a basement between 1st Ave and Ave A, a new(?) Japanese with beautifully presented upscale Izakaya mainstays and a very good sake list.

Excellent:

Cold beef tongue - portions of the back and tip of the tongue - the best tongue dish I've ever had and the first time I see it not boiled/grilled to death, fatty goodness.
Yuba+Uni dish - yuba, uni, seaweed, wasabi and something red.
Kurobuta belly - the usual stew preparation, very tasty.
Ice fish with egg in broth - angulas like tiny fish with egg poached in broth, delicate and very good.

good to very good:

Anago and tofu - excellent quality eel, but some dangerously thin bones not removed.
Wild snapper sashimi

They offer a $38 prix fixe before 7pm and a $120 (I think) Kaiseki that requires reservations.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#2 Ned

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:29 PM

Just recently heard about this place from a very reliable source. I'm eager to try it.
Ned Baldwin

#3 Orik

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 06:33 PM

It seemed like many of the diners knew the chef and waitress from elsewhere, although I couldn't quite catch where from. Does Chikara Sono sound familiar?

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#4 porkwah

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 06:47 PM

Has anyone been lately? I've been very much wanting to go back (having liked it very much the first time), but for now I'm hoping to live vicariously through you guys.

man, i need a headache


#5 djk

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 12:17 AM

i went back about six weeks ago and it was just as lovely as ever.

#6 Orik

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 05:28 PM

We had an excellent meal here yesterday that included some of the best uni I've ever had (part of their sashimi offerings), excellent pressed sushi, the ever delightful beef tongue, smoked anago (think eel pastrami), some roasted Ginkgo nuts, maitake tempura, crab gratin, and I'm sure a few other dishes.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#7 oakapple

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:05 PM

It now has a Michelin star. You can criticize the Michelin folks all you want, but they managed to find this place, which practically all of the critics had missed.
Marc Shepherd
Editor, New York Journal

#8 porkwah

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:22 PM

Rats. I was planning on going there on Wednesday; now I won't get in.
I agree with Orik, generally. The tongue is a thing of beauty.

man, i need a headache


#9 Orik

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:58 PM

QUOTE(oakapple @ Oct 6 2008, 10:05 AM) View Post
It now has a Michelin star. You can criticize the Michelin folks all you want, but they managed to find this place, which practically all of the critics had missed.


They probably read about it in the New Yorker.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#10 Sneakeater

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:29 PM

Another place that can only be described as "lovely."

I had the very good grilled fugu to start, and then the truly wonderful uni and salmon roe on rice.

As Orik said, great sake list. The dessert sake sampling was eye-opening: I never had this before.

Lovely room practically screams out "date place."

I guess I'm happy this isn't higher on everybody's radar, or else it would impossible to get in.
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#11 Orik

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:17 PM

You will be doing yourself a favor if you have their "fresh oyster" dish. Four large, deep, creamy (but not too creamy), sweet oysters, topped with something quite a bit more sophisticated than the Ssam Bar kimchee water. I think $14 or so.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#12 Sneakeater

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:23 PM

I finally got organized enough to have a kaiseki at Kyo Ya. (You have to order it three days in advance.) At $120 for nine courses plus dessert, it's not cheap -- but not at all beyond reason, either, given the amount and the (extremely high) quality of the food. They have a cheaper one for something like $90, but if you're doing it, you might as well go whole hog, I reasoned.

Some of the things they give you in the kaiseki dinner are on the menu; many aren't.

Is it worth it? Well, it's fun. But I can't say that it was a much much better experience than ordering off the menu here. Well worth trying -- but let's put it this way: I wouldn't avoid Kyo Ya if you can't have the kaiseki. A regular meal is probably a better value.

That said, this was a parade of exquisite dishes. Some were better than others. But none was less than excellent.

You know what my very favorite piece of food in this long meal was, though? It was the oyster, as described above by Orik, that in the kaiseki came with the sashimi course. I thought it was almost stunning how good it was. So everybody do what Orik says: go there and have the oysters.
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#13 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:30 PM

do you need to book to go on a weeknight?
Why not mayo?

#14 Sneakeater

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:39 PM

You just need to order the kaiseki three days in advance. It doesn't matter what kind of night you're going. They need three days' notice to assemble the ingredients and block out the kitchen time.

ETA -- Otherwise, just to eat there (but not to have the kaiseki), yeah you can walk in on weeknights.
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#15 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:46 PM

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Jan 25 2010, 04:39 PM) View Post
You just need to order the kaiseki three days in advance. It doesn't matter what kind of night you're going. They need three days' notice to assemble the ingredients and block out the kitchen time.

ETA -- Otherwise, just to eat there (but not to have the kaiseki), yeah you can walk in on weeknights.

cool. yeah I just meant to order off the menu
Why not mayo?