We tend to think New York is at the cutting edge of all things food, but we still can’t hold a candle to Japan when it comes to quirky innovation. That’s why we’ve continued to import some of their kookiest concepts; from ramen spots with flavor concentration booths (the recently debuted branch of Ichiran), to the stand-up steakhouse Ikinari, which landed in the East Village just this past week!
While most American-based meat temples are associated with tufted banquettes, broad tables and all manner of languorous, belt-loosening luxury, this popular Tokyo chain notably eschews chairs completely; requiring patrons to lean against long, narrow counters. Which — like Ichiran — turns attention squarely on the food by strictly streamlining the dining experience; transforming what’s generally a pricey, drawn-out dinner into a quick-service, anytime meal.
We’re talking no more than 30 minutes from start to finish. Begin by ordering your meat directly from butchers positioned at the entrance, selecting a cut (Ribeye, Sirloin, Filet or Assorted) and weight (minimum order is around 7-ounces or 200 grams, ranging from 8-11 cents a gram, totaling $16-27 for the smallest portion). No need to choose your temperature — it’s all cooked rare — although you can avail yourself of a caddy of gratis sauces, as well as an a la carte selection of rather spare sides (soup, mixed salad, pepper rice).
Designed to address Tokyo’s fast-paced, work-focused culture, Ikinari could well prove equally suited to on-the-go New Yorkers; eager to diverge from low-end lunchtime repasts like chopped salads and burgers, with high-flying, 40-day wet-aged steaks.
90 E 10th St