Ise a solid Japanese restaurant in the East Village, and it’s good for when you want some casual sushi or homemade soba. The sushi isn’t going to blow your mind, and you probably aren’t going to save up to enjoy their kaiseki (prix-fixe), but they have some harder-to-find dishes like fried fish cheeks and the Japanese egg custard chawanmushi. Come with friend for an easy meal before a night out in the East Village, and maybe go easy on the raw fish and uni if you’re planning drinking a lot.
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V-Nam is a small Vietnamese spot in the East Village where you can pick up a very good bánh mì.
The neighborhood sushi joint of the East Village, Takahachi is affordable and filled with regulars.
Standings is a small bar in the East Village that’s great for people who care a lot about sports.
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Llama San is a Nikkei restaurant in the West Village from the people behind Llama Inn. It’s pricey, but the food is incredibly delicious.
Karasu is a Japanese speakeasy/izakaya you find by going through the back door of Walter’s in Fort Greene. Go for cocktails and fried chicken.
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High quality East Village omakase sushi for under $100, with a side of club music if you come on the weekend.
Waiting in a line outside of any restaurant seems a bit silly to us, but Tomoe is arguably one of the best sushi restaurants in the city, as you will see by those patiently standing single file out front on most nights. And it certainly isn't the atmosphere that's got people queued up on Thompson Street. The place is a dump.
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