The West Village can be pretty predictable these days. The majority of the restaurants in this area will either make you a) pissed that you weren't born to live a life of leisure, or b) jealous that your neighborhood isn't full of sickeningly cute French cafes. Don't get us wrong, we love spending our mornings at Cafe Cluny and hanging out at Fedora every once in a while. But it's easy to get stumped down here when you need a place to take someone that you aren't trying to make out with/convince that you are rich. Which is precisely why we were so happy to stumble across Takashi recently.
We are becoming increasingly familiar these days with the art of Korean barbeque, and have decided that there are some things we really like about it. Namely, grilled meat with delicious sauces and rice. But we also happen to be a little bit fancy, and we hate smelling like we've been camping for three days after sitting in front of a smoky grill in K-Town. Takashi might just have been created with us specifically in mind. This tiny, modern restaurant is a Japanesey Korean hybrid, with high tech grills at each table that look like they were designed by Dyson. The menu is wholly dedicated to the magic of high end beef, and you can grill up all the best parts of a well-bred cow at your table, yet still go somewhere after and not smell like a forest fire. This is truly adventurous eating at its best, with all kinds of offal and raw beef dishes that some people go crazy for. But Takashi is still a perfect place in the West Village to hit with some friends, even if they're more conservative diner types. Just make sure they stick to the familiar cuts and go heavy on the sake.
An intriguing ball of thinly-sliced chuck eye tartare in "special sauce", which at this place is probably something crazy like falcon's blood mixed with orange juice. Regardless, the coarsely chopped raw beef tastes incredible, and the presentation is pretty sweet too. Order it.
A little fattier than the short rib, but way more tender. This is really good.
OK. This is "flash-boiled shredded achilles tendon", and we didn't order it...because we are huge babies. We hear it's good, but haven't mustered up the b*lls yet. We'll let you know once we do, but until then...really?
This is the skirt steak for your personal grilling pleasure, and we like it a lot. Put it on your table.
Also known as short rib. This one is a fan favorite, but we found some of the other stuff to be a bit more tender and more enjoyable.
This beef cheek is our favorite thing on the menu. And don't be afraid - other than it's incredible tenderness, this is indistinguishable from some of the other cuts that you might be more familiar with.
This one is the beef tongue, and the cut is thick. Assuming you can get down with the idea of it all, you will probably love it.
Squares of rice wrapped in seaweed and pickled sesame leaf. We actually found ourselves getting several orders of this. The rice is cooked perfectly, holds together well, and has some flavor from the seaweed and sesame leaf. Wrap some up in a piece of lettuce with a few pieces of grilled meat and you're in business.
Tell us that "home-made Madagascar vanilla soft serve ice cream" doesn't sound ridiculous. Oh, and we had ours topped with salted caramel.