For anyone wondering what’s cool in Manhattan right now, here's or update: go to Dr. Clark in Chinatown. This Japanese restaurant - located in the home of former Cool Spots like Lalito and divey karaoke bar Winnie’s - focuses on Hokkaido specialties that go nicely with shochu sour cocktails and natural wine. This is the sort of place where, after you take your shoes off and settle into an outdoor kotatsu table underneath a sparkly disco ball, you’ll be surrounded by half-a-dozen Dimes Square denizens and someone who possibly starred on an HBO show in 2012. And the quality of Dr. Clark’s food is just as exciting as its scene.
Build your meal around their thinly-sliced, marinated lamb jingisukan, which is grilled tableside and served with a mixture of crunchy marinated onions and bean sprouts. We’d recommend bringing a small group and supplementing the lamb with fresh seafood, like some chewy squid stuffed with uni-laced rice and a bowl of kaisen featuring assorted salmon and tuna sashimi, roe, cucumber, radish, uni, and steamed egg. It’s easy to spend over $100 on a meal at Dr. Clark, so bring a group of friends who crave the “going out” meals of yesteryear and try New York’s only restaurant specializing in food exclusively from Hokkaido.