Hidden restaurants and bars

Since my very first visit to New York in 2004, I’ve been enthralled with this city, not just for how multicultural and diverse it is, but also for how it seems like no matter how much you know about it, no matter how many neighborhoods you visit and no matter how long you’ve been living here, there’s always something that’s just right under your nose that you have no clue about. I’d been to a number of restaurants and hole-in-the wall spots along east 53rd street over the years of living here, but my friend introduced me to one of his favorite spots along that street, which is a Japanese jazz bar/restaurant that is in a basement below ground level. They play live jazz every night, have a very extensive and attractive looking bar, and even have a delicious and well-respected Japanese menu (I really loved the cod-roe spaghetti there). The whole vibe is very New York speakeasy combined with Japanese culture and customs. I loved my whole experience there. I felt even luckier that my friend had befriended the host at the front because we got in easily at around 6pm, and then as we were leaving, there was a really long line outside, even in the rain. It’s spots like these that remind me how lucky I am to live in this amazing city.

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