Walk through the heavy curtains into the 17-seat chef’s counter at Torien, and you won’t get the feeling that you’re about to have grilled chicken for dinner. The near silence in the bright, modern space is only broken by brief course descriptions from the chefs, who prepare the 13-course omakase experience behind the bar. But this isn’t just any chicken. All of the grilled skewers at this Noho yakitori spot are delicious, especially the glazed meatballs that melt when you bite into them, and if the price were half as steep - as it is at the chef’s original yakitori restaurant in Tokyo - then it’d be a great unique dining experience with a client or date. But considering the extremely subdued space and the fact that a few of the skewers only include forgettable vegetables, it’s not special enough to be worth $150 plus tax, tip, and drinks.
More spots in NOHOSee more
Balthazar, you had a good 16-year run, but it’s time to step aside. Lafayette is now the quintessential French bistro of bustling downtown NYC.
Gato, Bobby Flay’s Mediterranean spot in Noho, isn’t quite as good as it was when it opened, but it’s still a useful option in certain situations.
More Japanese spotsSee more
Katana Kitten is a two-floor Japanese cocktail bar in the West Village where you can get a great cocktail and fries with seaweed flakes on them.
Sakagura East Village
Sakagura is a Japanese small plates spot in the East Village with a huge selection of sake.
Hanon is a casual Japanese spot in Williamsburg that serves some of the best udon in the city.
Suggested by our writers
Chef’s Table At Brooklyn Fare
Chef’s Table At Brooklyn Fare in Hell’s Kitchen serves a tasting menu that’s unlike anything else you’ll eat in NYC.
Blanca is a 12-seat tasting-menu restaurant hidden in a room behind Roberta’s. And it’s incredible.
Shuko, an unmarked Japanese spot near Union Square, is our favorite omakase experience in NYC.
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