It’s a wonder this quiet brick-lined eatery has thus far evaded the hordes in search of an affordable, memorable meal: A wide variety of tapas-style Japanese pub food—much of it under $10 a plate—make this a queue-worthy find indeed. A sizzling tofu, squid and scallion pancake strikes perfect pitch between soft and chewy, sweet and savory; a pile of soy-doused peppery chicken wings rank among the best in the city. To finish, order the deliciously nutty black sesame ice cream or skip the dessert menu and go for the gindara saikyo yaki, marinated black cod that is so flaky and buttery-sweet it could be mistaken for a croissant if eaten with closed eyes.
647 E 11th St
|Cross street:||between Aves B and C|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 5:30pm–12:30am; Fri, Sat 5:30pm–1:30am; Sun 4:30–11:30pm|
|Transport:||Subway: F, V to Lower East Side–Second Ave|
|Price:||Average small plate: $7. Cash only|