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Hell's Kitchen

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.

Venue name: Sawa
Address: 617 Ninth Ave
New York

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
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