This buzzy, underground izakaya defies its dowdy location in the heart of Times Square with authentic Japanese flavors that would scare the fanny pack off most tourists. Bring a group, order a few $12 pitchers of Sapporo, and keep the small plates coming: Japanese cucumbers are served with mayonnaise and sweet, funky miso for dipping. Okonomiyaki—a squid-and-cabbage pancake—is topped with a flurry of bonito flakes, while kara-age (hunks of fried chicken) are crispy nuggets buried under mild grated daikon and ponzu sauce. With a menu this vast, a few misses are expected (our takoyaki, or octopus balls, were mushy and bland), but at less than $10 a plate, it’s worth taking a risk on a dish you can’t pronounce.
Sake Bar Hagi
|Venue name:||Sake Bar Hagi||Contact:|
152 W 49th St
|Cross street:||between Sixth and Seventh Aves|
|Opening hours:||Daily 5pm–3am|
|Transport:||Subway: B, D, F, V to 42nd St–Bryant Park; 7, N, R, Q, W, S to Times Sq–42nd St|
|Price:||Average small plate: $10. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|