Dinner at Shabushabu Mayumon starts with a wet hand towel and ends with a mountain of matcha shaved ice. What happens in between is a long omakase conga line of single-bite meats and vegetables, each of which is delightful and abstract enough to be molded, cast, and installed in the sculpture garden at MoMa for ants. Like its nearby sister restaurant Shabushabu Macoron (the only other omakase shabu shabu restaurant in the world), there’s just one chef here, who swishes individual bites of high-quality meat in broth before she dips them into sauce and places them in front of you. But unlike Macoron, where the food tends to be more straightforward Japanese, Mayumon experiments with mashups from other cultures - like Spanish ajillo, Italian bagna cauda, and Vietnamese pho. It’ll cost you $128 (before tip, tax, or drinks), but Shabushabu Mayumon is worth its price tag, especially if you want to celebrate with a lot of red meat in a setting that couldn’t be more different from a steakhouse.
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Spicy Village is not a romantic date spot. Unless styrofoam dishware gets you all hot and bothered. Take your friends, bring a bottle of wine, and prepare to spend $10 a piece on some delicious Chinese grub.
Freemans has been a key player in the restaurant renaissance we’re currently living in and ranks among our favorite restaurants of all time.
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Shalom Japan is what happens when two chefs from different backgrounds (Japanese & Jewish) fall in love and start making food instead of babies.
Riki is a casual Japanese restaurant near Grand Central where you can order some yakitori and okonomiyaki before your train.
Suggested by our writers
Shuko, an unmarked Japanese spot near Union Square, is our favorite omakase experience in NYC.
Sushi By M
Sushi By M is a no-frills spot in the East Village where you sit at a counter and eat an excellent 10-piece sushi omakase for $50.
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