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Orik

Kyo Ya

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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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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.

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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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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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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

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