14 Stuyvesant Street
New York, NY
Before we even headed off to our main event at Sharaku, YM and I went on a Japanese tangent and visited Otafuku just down the street at 265 E. 9th Street.
This place is the size of a large closet with barely enough room for 2 people to walk by each other. Their specialty is takoyaki, fried balls of batter with a slice of octopus inside garnished with ginger, scallions, sweet sauce and mayo, and a healthy sprinkling of bonito flakes. Be prepared as its taste may not be for everyone: it is hot and gooey with a fishy seafoodiness from the octo and bonito. Being that I never tried an authentic takoyaki from Japan, I have no basis to measure by other than it is tasty Japanesey street food, I think. Also included in our combo was yakisoba (fried noodles) and it was just so-so. Overall, if you need a quick bite to eat and are looking to spend a few bucks for a snack, give Otafuku a shot.
Cool and hip Japanese fast food
The yakisoba, skip this
The takoyaki is atomic hot (temperature). Let COOL first…
Rating 6/10 takoyakis
Entering Sharaku, you will notice it’s clean and little cramped. The space rises more vertically than horizontally with more seating on the second floor. SInce this review is a double header, Ill keep it short:
View of sushi chef looking down from sushi heaven
Grilled Yellowtail neck
Broiled miso black cod, bad picture but very tasty
Don kat su (breaded and fried pork cutlet), slightly below average
Japanese place in St. Marks that is not too cramped. Host was asian but waiters were chicos, go figure. Miso Black cod was excellent.
Cod, lamb (is that japanese?), sushi, and yellowtail
Don kat su
The sign in the bathroom
I give it 6.5/10 handrolls
a. Broiled Black Miso Cod:
yummo! this dish was fantabulous, and is the cheapest of the 3 places that I had black cod miso.
larger portion too! highly recommended!
buttery smooth texture, sweet and flaky.
b. Pork Tempura
average. nothing special.
c. Sushi – couple of rolls that i dont remeber
again, average, nothing special, at least for nyc standards.
compared to say.. philly sushi, or chicago sushi.. its phenomenal, but..yeah its relative.
d. grilled lamb
suprisingly, very good. surpsingly b/c of my previous experience of lamb (having to slaughter lamb in person in new mexico,
seeing the look of death in the eyes of the sheep while we slit the throats, and the smell of the guts “shudder”
along with having to eat lamb’s brain that was cooked in a pit and covered by dirt.. i think you would be scarred too)
very tender, didn’t taste like lamb
e. grilled yellowtail neck with a wedge of lemon
quite delishious. not dry, not raw, done just right.
f. vegetable tempura
thought it was pretty good, but nothing special.
this place is hit or miss. order the yellowtail, lamb, or the cod.
not spectacular, not bad. abv average.
for a japanese place near st marks, pretty nice.
pretty good value
place is worth checking out. at least twice. a hearty eat club recommendation.