Visited in Apr 2017
157 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002
Super sexy, super fantastic little sake bar in the Lower East Side. We’ve visited a few times, but always only to have drinks before or after dinner, never had a full meal here. Our intent was to have dinner here tonight, had reservations and everything! But of course, it was a weekend, and we stopped over at Blue Ribbon Izakaya for drinks and snacks prior, which turned into a platter and 2 bottles. So by the time we showed up for our reservation, we used up most of our appetite.
Keep in mind, this is a sake bar with snacks, not a real sushi ya, or restaurant. The dishes are representative of that. As is the crowd. It’s super loud. Lots of “dates”, lots of group parties. Men in their crisp shirts, women in their high heels and slinky dresses. It’s a good looking crowd.
This is what we managed to squeeze in and try:
- Egg on Egg on Egg $19 – UNI and sturgeon caviar served on top of scrambled eggs. I read so much about this dish, and had such high hopes. It was fine, but it really wasn’t all that special. And I don’t know that the flavors blended all that well either. When we have CHAWAN MUSHI topped with UNI (flavored, steamed, often filled with various seafood), that was magnificent. This was good, not great, and not a dish I wouldn’t order again….
- Wagyu and UNI roll $14 – Wagyu beef, UNI, TAKUAN (pickles), and SHISO. I had anticipated really silky, fatty, buttery beef with crisp TAKUAN. This wasn’t that. It was still good, still a roll I would order again, but just with proper expectations.
- UNI Toast $16 – Anchovy butter, crème fraiche, chopped onions, tomatoes, and shaved parmigiana-reggiano. Individually, I love all the ingredients. And who doesn’t love anchovy butter??? But what a funky mix of flavors! No thanks.
- Grilled octopus $17 – The first dish that I thought was VERY GOOD. The octopus was tender, with just the right amount of chew left over, and charred up very nicely. The flavors of the smear complimented the octopus well. Nicely done.
- UNI MAZEMEN $24 – Star of the night. Looks a little bit dry, but it wasn’t. A creamy, garlicky ramen topped with UNI and chives, and served with a side of roasted bone marrow. We threw the bone marrow in and mixed it all up. It was YUMMY! I imagine the fat content of this dish to be off the charts, but who cares! I would gladly order this again and again and again! YUM!
I don’t know that I want a full meal here. I think we had it right all along, come for drinks and a snack or two, a wagyu roll maybe, a grilled octopus maybe, share a uni ramen with bone marrow maybe, and sample away with all the sake options! From a cost perspective, it was very “affordable”. And it’s a great date place!