Fish and ice cream typically don’t mix, though I wouldn’t put it past the crazy milkshakes at Black Tap to offer up some sort of weird thing like that. But at Taiyaki NYC, a Japanese ice cream shop having its grand opening today on the border of Little Italy and Chinatown, this union is oh-so sweet.
Kazusa Jibiki, the owner of the popular Nolita Thai eatery Lovely Day, will be expanding to the Lower East Side next week. Jibiki’s new venture, entitled Gohan, will be a return to her Japanese heritage. Unlike Lovely Day’s Southeast Asian diner fare, Gohan, which means “a meal” in Japanese, will be all about wholesome, comforting Japanese home cooking, Jibiki explained. The restaurant, which is located at 14a Orchard Street at Canal Street, will open its doors next Monday, on August 1. Although the menu is still going through its final stages, Jibiki has given Bedford + Bowery a hint of what her version of Japanese home cooking will entail.
While everyone seems to be making the leap across the East River to shack up in Brooklyn, a small raw-fish-focused spot decided to jump in the opposite direction. Bergen Hill, a restaurant specializing in South American-inspired small plates and crudo dishes, closed the doors of its Carroll Gardens location in April, only to resurface a couple of months later in the East Village’s Cooper Square, with a tentative opening date scheduled for early July.
In Japan, a tiny studio apartment is often known as a “rabbit hutch”–usually a cramped little space for young people to get a foothold in the big city. So when Chef Yoshiko Sakuma found a little nook for her first restaurant on a quiet stretch of Forsyth Street, the name stuck. Rabbit House, her 14-seat wine-and-sake bar, is a refuge and lab for her whimsical culinary experiments, drawing inspiration from around the world to create unexpected European tapas dishes dusted with Japanese moxie.
Oodles of noodles! While East Williamsburg has a new ramen refuge, the East Village just scored a new soba spot. Chef David Bouhadana just opened his second restaurant in the neighborhood — not bad for a 28-year-old who grew up in Florida.
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Sushi Lounge isn’t the only Japanese spot in the East Village that just moved to new digs on the same street. Over on East 9th, Otafuku has, as expected, moved over to a larger new space that — just like Egg’s upgrade — will hopefully put the kibosh on having to wait outside.
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Excellent news for those who like fried octopus-filled dough balls and the warmth of the indoors; beloved 9th Street kiosk Otafuku is moving a couple dozen feet west to a storefront in which customers can wait for and devour their favorite Japanese street snacks in a well-heated space. Set to open sometime in the next two weeks at 220 East 9th Street, the new outpost features an open kitchen, a stand-up bar, adorable signage and an additional name, Medetai (according to owner Yo Katsuse, it will also be called Otafuku, in case you’re resistant to change).
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