Ah, the Izakaya, a Japanese drinking establishment that also serves food accompanying the drinks. There are not too many in NYC. Tanuki Tavern, the restaurant located in the hip, sceney, and cool Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking district, draws its inspiration from the Izakaya. It is a Japanese gastropub and sushi bar, and has some tasty Japanese delights.
Take a seat outside, grab a cocktail, and start with the tempura maitake mushrooms ($7) with sweet ponzu dipping sauce, and sweet corn and white miso tempura cakes ($6). Both these snacks were deliciously tasty, and pair perfectly with a cocktail or beer.
Chicken meatballs ($7) get the Japanese treament served in a rice crust with spicy ponzu. Delectable!
Little Neck clams were served in a flavorful and addictive broth.
Octopus Sunomono ($11) with seaweed, cucumber, rice vinegar, mirin and soy jelly was pitch-perfect great.
A miso braised beef marrow bone ($8) with black lava sea salt and toast, tickled my taste buds and paired well with my sparkling ale.
Since the NYC Foodie is a lobster lover, the lobster, avocado & fried tofu ($15), with butter
poached Maine lobster, ginger, wasabi & yuzu dressing was a true hit. I loved this dish.
The unexpected hit of the meal though, was the Pat Lafrieda "Tanuki Tavern" Burger ($10). When I think of Japanese food, I never think of a burger, but this burger at Tanuki Tavern is one of the best in town! Served with pickled purple onion, kimchi relish, and tavern sauce, on eli's potato bun, it was truly wonderful! Perfectly cooked, it had a beautiful char, and balance of sweetness, to the kick of the kimchi relish. Juicy and amazing.
So grab a drink, and pair it with some tasty Japanese fare at Tanuki Tavern. Become part of the scene, you'll be right in the heart of it.
18 Ninth Avenue (at Hotel Gansevoort)
New York, NY 10014