A former Nolita sushi spot reopened as Daruma a couple of days ago with a new look and a yakitori grill. In addition to $5 sushi rolls, youll now find the following $2 grilled skewers: chicken tender, chicken wing, beef, tofu, zucchini, shu mai, rice, bacon with scallop, shrimp, mushroom, squid ball, salmon, fish ball, sweet corn, and mixed vegetable. Appetizers now include grilled squid leg in Hoshiyaki sauce, seafood gyoza, and diced watermelon tossed with crispy pork belly. It should be noted that the scallops wrapped in bacon aren't as large as at other yakitoris, and you wont find the good stuff like gizzards and chicken hearts (and we still don't know why New York yakitoris refuse to serve grilled ovaries, or as Japanese kids call them, balls on a string). Finally, as far as ambiance goes, the maneki neko chandelier is cute but not enough to lure us away from the hidden yakitori bar in the rainforest-themed Tropical Billiards down the street. One advantage: Delivery. Playing when we stopped in: Britney Spears, Toxic.
Daruma, 227 Mott St., nr. Spring St.; 212-219-9288