NYCReview

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

A variety of dishes on a wooden table at Bar Moga. The walls are brick and there are paintings hanging.
8.3

Bar Moga

Japanese

Greenwich Village

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerDrinks & A Light Bite

There aren’t many places in NYC better than this Greenwich Village Japanese bar to grab drinks and food. Other spots try the $20 cocktail and snacks thing, but most are either too serious, or become trendy and impossible to get into

At Bar Moga, though, you can drink a $20 cocktail that should be $20, and eat one of the best katsu sandwiches in town next to ornate light fixtures and Japanese art. Or try a flight of high-quality Japanese whiskey and take breaks with bites of omurice with runny egg that’s sliced tableside. And you can pretty much always get a reservation or just walk in.

The Mist of Ember cocktail from Bar Moga.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Glass pendant lights hang from the orange and red accented interior of Bar Moga.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

The Garlic Omu Rice still intact and served on a grey plate with a saucière and a highball cocktail on the side.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

The Fly Me To The Moon cocktail from Bar Moga.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Black bar stools surround the L-shaped bar at Bar Moga.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

The Mist of Ember cocktail from Bar Moga.
Glass pendant lights hang from the orange and red accented interior of Bar Moga.
The Garlic Omu Rice still intact and served on a grey plate with a saucière and a highball cocktail on the side.
The Fly Me To The Moon cocktail from Bar Moga.
Black bar stools surround the L-shaped bar at Bar Moga.

Cocktails rotate seasonally and typically use ingredients like yuzu and Calpico, and spirits like shochu. But drinks are only half the reason to come. The quality of both the food and beverages put Bar Moga ahead of other NYC izakayas—and other spots where you can stand at a high top with your old boss to trash former coworkers. There’s not a single tough strand of pork in the fried chop that they use for the katsu sando, and the breading always stays intact, keeping all that juicy meat in. And though dishes like croquettes, arancini, and crudo might sound familiar, Bar Moga spruces them up with crab in the croquettes and uni in the arancini.

A variety of dishes from Bar Moga on a wooden table.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

The paintings hang from the enclosed patio windows at Bar Moga. There are small tables with leather chairs.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

The New York Henge cocktail from Bar Moga.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

A long leather booth at the brick-walled Bar Moga.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

The exterior wooden door at Bar Moga.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

A variety of dishes from Bar Moga on a wooden table.
The paintings hang from the enclosed patio windows at Bar Moga. There are small tables with leather chairs.
The New York Henge cocktail from Bar Moga.
A long leather booth at the brick-walled Bar Moga.
The exterior wooden door at Bar Moga.

The next time you need a relaxed place to hang out with an awkward couple, or maybe sit at a bar to disassociate over a cocktail and some snacks, remember Bar Moga. The location is also handy if you need a spot before or after dinner—you could walk out of here, throw a brick, and hit at least five great restaurants. Which you’ll appreciate after abandoning your early bedtime to score a reservation at nearby Dame or Carbone, some of the toughest spots to book in all of NYC

We’ll leave you with two thoughts: First, please don’t throw bricks. And, secondly, after visiting Bar Moga even once, you’ll probably just want to abandon your Super Serious Reservation and hang out here for katsu and drinks instead.

Food Rundown

The Katsu Sando from Bar Moga served cut in three pieces on slate with a cocktail in a rocks glass in the corner.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Katsu Sando

This has often been our sole motivation to come to Bar Moga: one of the best katsu sandos in the city. There’s juicy pork. There’s breading that’s always crispy and clings to the meat. And they even cut it up into two-bite pieces so you don’t have an unwieldy sandwich to take down.
The Garlic Omu Rice cut open with sauce on top and served on a grey plate.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Omu Rice

The other must-order item while you’re here. They have a regular omu rice and garlic version, and while you might be tempted to go garlic, the regular is the move. You’ll get a rich veal demi-glace poured over, along with rice that tastes like it’s been swimming in schmaltz (in a good way). The finishing touch: your waiter coming over to slice that perfectly runny omelet with a very sharp Japanese knife.

Uni Arancini

A great starter that makes us wish we could eat this uni in Hokkaido. Our only gripe: we wish it came with more than two pieces.

Kani Cream Croquette

Another small bite you should snack on over drinks. Beware of the piping hot snow crab cream, which we’ve burned our mouths on one too many times.

Gyutan Curry

This is another really great main. The simmered beef tongue straight up falls apart the second you touch it with a spoon, and the curry poured over the top is the perfect complement to the lean meat.
The Princess Mononoke cocktail from Bar Moga.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

The Cocktails

Pretty much all of the drinks here (including the mocktails) are really delicious and interesting. Both their classics, like the Princess Mononoke with mezcal, yuzu kosho, and ancho pepper, and the seasonal list will never let you down. Or you could just say screw it, and do a rare Japanese whiskey tasting.

FOOD RUNDOWN

Suggested Reading

Maison Kintaro image
8.3

Maison Kintaro

Maison Kintaro is casual, but impressive. Grab a table at this Chelsea restaurant, and eat a katsu sandwich or some raw scallops over rice.

Dame image
9.0

Dame is an exciting English seafood restaurant in Greenwich Village with delicious fish, a long wine list, and a disco playlist.

A spread of dishes from Carbone on a table with a white tablecloth with red chairs.
8.2

People like to hate Carbone. But an evening at the iconic Italian restaurant is difficult not to love.

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