Toraya

Midtown East
Only nine people can sit at the downstairs counter, and another handful at two tables in the upstairs tatami room. Chef Isamu Soumi’s menu is a winning combination of traditional fare from the Niigata prefecture, north of Tokyo, and his own flights of fancy. The prix-fixe dinner changes roughly every two weeks. You might poke your chopsticks into a bowl of oshitashi (steamed spinach), then nibble on fried sardines wrapped around smooth tofu and paired with sweet pickled-plum sauce. Fish preparations, such as steamed tilefish topped with creamy wasabi, are phenomenal. Tiny as it is, Toraya draws a steady clientele of Japanese professionals.
Venue name: Toraya
Contact:
Address: 300 E 52nd St
New York
10021
Cross street: between First and Second Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 6–10:30pm
Transport: Subway: E to Lexington Ave–53rd St; 6 to 51st St
Price: $45–$50. AmEx, DC, MC, V
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