Nothing inside Sawa suggests barbecue. The squeaky-clean, white tile walls and bamboo kitchen door at this take-out spot look more like something out of a Japanese restaurant. And gas-fired ovens don’t scream “low and slow.” But owner Takashi Sawa, a Japanese-born meat maven, is serious about his barbecue. He’s developed his own top-secret seasoning blend—a recipe that combines more than 20 spices—and serves traditional dishes like St. Louis ribs, BBQ chicken and Brunswick stew. His most unusual item: a country-style pork rib dish in which the meat is cut diagonally across the grain.
617 Ninth Ave
|Cross street:||between 43rd and 44th Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri 11am–10pm; Sat, Sun noon–10pm|
|Transport:||Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority|
|Price:||Average main course: $15. MC, V|