Monday, February 6, 2012


When I moved up to Midtown East, I didn't expect to find a little bit of St. Marks (my college days!) in my neighborhood.  St. Marks has a strip of hole-in-the-wall "izakaya"-ish (Japanese food and drinking) spots which are really popular for college students.  Many late nights were spent over bottles of sake and lots of little Japanese noshes.  I've aged out of that crew a few years ago so it's been a while since I've been spotted there at 1am and beyond.  Wondering where the older people go? We go to the Midtown version of St. Marks!  Sure enough, there are a handful of authentic hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the East 40s/50s Streets. 


My second favorite izakaya spot is Donburiya located on East 47th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.  It's open late, and the later you go, the more packed it gets with groups of friends relaxing over their ## bottle of sake.  It's a good sign when you see lots of Japanese people there too!

Sake! Just chillin'...

Donburiya has an extensive sake list and a big menu of appetizers/snacks, fried foods, noodles, curry rice, fish, noodle soups, veggies... you name it! They also have a menu of Specials in Japanese (thank goodness for the handwritten somewhat funny English translation next to each!). 

Drinks and food menus

My absolute favorite snack to get there is the lotus chips.  They're thinly sliced, fried and sprinkled with seaweed.

Fried Lotus Chips

I also ordered the Enoki mushrooms cook in foil off of the Specials menu.  It was cooked in Ponzu sauce and had a lovely light soy sauce and citrus flavor.  (I'm trying to figure out how to make this at home!! 2 attempts down, almost there...). 

Enoki mushrooms cooked in foil

Other times, I've also ordered the ramen noodles and katsu-don (pork cutlet over rice) which were both excellent!  The prices are reasonable (though a tad more expensive than the cheapie St. Marks spots). 

It's a great spot whether you're a party of 2 or 10.  The food is authentic and yummy and the sake will keep on flowing (so long as you keep on ordering!).

Piggy says yes!

Piggy KL

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