Right in the middle of Kips Bay is a casual new Japanese izakaya called Oka. It’s across the street from not just a 16 Handles, but also a Tasti D-Lite, and unlike those places, it’s one of the better eating options in the area. The low-key space is ideal for meeting someone after work, drinking sake, and ordering Japanese small plates until you’re stuffed. While the room itself is pretty simple, the food is really impressive - everything we tried, from the grilled baguette with kombu butter, to the tonkatsu (pork cutlet), to the grilled hamachi collar, was great. And also surprisingly affordable. Get this one in your rotation if you live or work nearby.