photo credit: Liz Clayman

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Walk through the heavy curtains into the 17-seat chef’s counter at Torien, and you won’t get the feeling that you’re about to have grilled chicken for dinner. The near silence in the bright, modern space is only broken by brief course descriptions from the chefs, who prepare the 13-course omakase experience behind the bar. But this isn’t just any chicken. All of the grilled skewers at this Noho yakitori spot are delicious, especially the glazed meatballs that melt when you bite into them, and if the price were half as steep - as it is at the chef’s original yakitori restaurant in Tokyo - then it’d be a great unique dining experience with a client or date. But considering the extremely subdued space and the fact that a few of the skewers only include forgettable vegetables, it’s not special enough to be worth $150 plus tax, tip, and drinks.

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Suggested Reading

Toriko image


Toriko is a yakitori spot in the West Village that serves omakase menus focused on excellent grilled chicken skewers.

Shuko image

Shuko, an unmarked Japanese spot near Union Square, is one of the top omakase experiences in NYC.

Sushi Of Gari UES image

Sushi of Gari serves some of the best sushi on the Upper East Side.

Kochi image

Kochi serves a very good nine-course Korean tasting menu for $75 in Hell’s Kitchen.

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