Village Yokocho may be closed for the moment, but another skewer specialist opens on the same block tonight. Robataya NY focuses on the robata technique of cooking proteins over a charcoal grill — the latest type of Japanese cuisine served by Bon Yagi, who co-owns ten restaurants including Soba Ya. “People think of sushi and tempura, but we have other interesting cuisines in Japan,” says manager Hisaya Kadoi. Diners sit around the counter and pull their dishes and drinks from long-handled wooden paddles wielded by the chefs (the paddles look similar to what pizzaioli use to turn pies). Until a license comes through for the Japanese beer, sake, and shochu, the restaurant is BYO. Robataya will be closed on Mondays after tonight — September 28 is this month’s lucky date, says Kadoi. (Regular hours begin tomorrow, 6 p.m. to 10:45 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday; 6 p.m. to 11:45 on Friday and Saturday.) Click through the slideshow to see the beautiful wooden counter, and consult the menu, below.
Robataya Menu [PDF]
Robataya NY, 231 E. 9th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-979-9674