Big Steak is king in the vast wasteland of Manhattan’s midtown “Bankville,” but Japanese cuisine is a strong and worthy adversary that’s rapidly encroaching on its territory (especially for lunch).
My wife and I stopped into one such Japanese joint, Iroha, for a quick dinner bite at the bar before seeing a Broadway show, and we were both pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, the plating presentation and the price.
First off, there is a coupon for a free mug of beer online that you can use from 5-7pm. That was perfect for us, since our show was at 7pm.
We ordered a bunch of shit, and we could have kept going, because everything looked fucking awesome.
First was this amazing glass cup of rawness. Uni, salmon, salmon roe, tuna, yellow tail and avocado. Not only was it beautiful, but it was absolutely devourable. Get it. I can’t recall the name of it for the life of me, but you can’t miss the pretty picture in the highly visual menu.
Next was a pork belly and soft boiled egg appetizer, which had three generously sized thick-ass hunks of braised belly. Perfection. It’s ramen toppings without the soup and noodles, essentially. Can’t go wrong with bacon and eggs, ever.
I ordered a small version of the all-salmon Chirashi bowl (Salmon Oyako Don), which had four pieces of salmon sashimi and a good blob of briny and savory salmon roe. The sushi rice beneath was surprisingly tasty, and was topped with a good amount of fresh wasabi, ginger and sesame seeds.
My wife ordered a grilled eel dish that came with a LOT of eel (in the pic, there is an entire second slab of eel that is not visible because it is UNDER the rice). It is served with a miso broth of sorts, to mix in with the sweet-yet-savory flavored rice. There’s also a plate of pickled items and some puffed rice for a crunchy texture element.
In short, this place is great, and it is representative of the strong and growing force that is Japanese cuisine in midtown. We sat at the bar, and the guys were plating everything right in front of us. Some of the salad items were tremendous and included tons of proteins (fish). I will definitely be back here to try more shit in the future.
AWESOME salmon don. Really good quality stuff.
152 W. 49th St.
New York, NY 10019