turned out to be a disappointment – the meats were teeny, overcooked, and very plain. Server was a non-japanese guy who asked us, “you’re going to order more, right?”, apparently not satisfied with our initial order. Aside from the disappointing skewers (I think we tried tongue, gizzard, chicken, chicken bone, squid, etc…all of which sucked)… portions were small, ingredients not fresh, and overcooked.
we also tried their raw octopus in a wasabi sauce… not fresh nor tasty.
We decided to walk around some more when we came upon Village Yokocho.
Still determined to find good yakitori, we ordered two skewers... better, but not by much.
We finally gave up and decided to do nightcaps at an underground izakaya with a very interesting vibe. The bar felt like it was owned and ran by a couple young folks with a bit of a nonchalant & tired attitude (the bartenders, anyway). I saw them making food orders by putting them into the microwave and was certain I did not want to order food. Huge variety of sake and shochu though.. (**Hubby just found the name of this bar: Sake Bar Decibel**)
Perhaps it's because of how popular izakayas became (in NYC and Cali, anyway), that so many imitations/average places popped up, or perhaps they've felt forced to sacrifice taste/ingredients to survive... but these places were beyond average. This just reaffirms the fact that I must conduct research before visiting restaurants, especially while on vacation.
Neighborhood: Manhattan/East Village
8 Stuyvesant St
(between 11th St & 12th St)
Sake Bar Decibel
240 E. 9th Street
(between 2nd Ave & Stuyvesant St)
New York, NY 10003