Restaurants, Japanese Downtown
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Gyu-Kaku - East Village

Gyu-kaku, the first NYC outpost of a popular Japanese grill-it-yourself chain, looks like the ideal spot for a group dinner party: a slickly designed, dark-wood-covered space where you can throw an indoor barbecue with all the fixins. On closer examination, it is a gimmick of a restaurant, with laminated menus, flyers announcing specials and a few disappointing raw ingredients (chewy, flavorless tofu; dry, unseasoned vegetables; and canned pineapple). The prices are great, however, and place is worth a try, if only for the thrill of tossing meat onto a fire without worrying about the fire marshall showing up. The meats were exceptional—namely the deliciously salty, marbled kobe and marinated lamb chops. Beware: The tabletop charcoal grill heats up to roughly the temperature of the sun, so if you can’t stand the heat...


Venue name: Gyu-kaku
Address: 34 Cooper Sq
New York
Cross street: between 5th and 6th Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 6pm–midnight; Fri, Sat 6pm–1am; Sun 6–11pm
Transport: Subway: L to Third Ave; 6 to Astor Pl
Price: Average small plate: $8. AmEx, Disc, MC, V. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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