Secchu Yokota image

Secchu Yokota


East Village

$$$$Perfect For:Special OccasionsBirthdaysDate NightImpressing Out of Towners
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In the thick of the East Village's smoke shops, dive bars, and NYU students swimming in their parents' old clothes, Secchu Yokota stands out for its quiet elegance and exceptional food. There are only six seats at the counter of this specialty tempura restaurant, and the two-hour experience will both stretch out and fly by, leaving you wondering if time works differently here. Expect to hear Ghibli soundtrack remixes on the stereo, and to feel like you’ve become best friends with the server by the end of your meal. 

The only thing on the menu at this Japanese spot is the $145 omakase, which focuses on seasonal tempura—and when they say seasonal, they mean it. You won’t find out-of-season vegetables here. On a recent visit, we were served baby sea bream rather than adult sea bream, because it was the right time of year. One constant, though, is the scallop. The cook on this shellfish is a marvel, with a perfectly translucent center and an impossibly light, crispy exterior. The brussels sprouts and Japanese yam are a reminder that a well-prepared vegetable can taste better than candy. If you're looking for a low-key special occasion restaurant, or a place to take hard-to-impress visitors, make a reservation here.

Food Rundown


The omakase here starts with a plate of appetizers, like soba noodles and sashimi, then moves into a series of perfectly fried tempura bites served with two different salts, fresh lemon, and traditional tempura dipping sauce. At the end of your meal, there’s a slightly larger shime plate, like tencha, and a light dessert.

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