Tag Archives: katsu

Nai Tapas Bar – Revisited

I recently revisited one of my favorite tapas and wine bars: Nai Tapas Bar. They’ve expanded into a two floor location, now on 2nd Ave at 5th Street (they moved from their old location on 1st Ave near 11th Street).

They offer an $89 chef’s tasting menu, which only jumps to $110 with their generous, high quality wine pairing pours for each course (and then some).

Not only is this a great deal, but it’s one of the best tasting menus I’ve had in years. Here’s how it went down.

We were met with a heaping goblet of white sangria…

Followed by a pour of the first white wine…

Which paired with the following bites:

This is truffle mushroom basmati rice with manchego cheese, beets and a perfectly poached egg.

These clams are gently broiled open and then dressed with cilantro, citrus zest and yuzu.

Next up was a pour of another white wine to go with this torched salmon and saffron nigiri and glazed Chilean sea bass (wrapped in crispy fried bread and topped with Serrano ham and asparagus).

After this, another glass of white (Gewürztraminer) came out with my favorite dish of the night (and a possible best of 2019 contender): portobello mushroom carpaccio. The Manchego cheese and crushed marcona almonds really made this pop, and the mushrooms are marinated in truffle oil.

There was a nice sangria-marinated cube of watermelon with mint served at this point, to get us ready for the next round.

After that, a red was poured…

To go along with these three meat courses:

Chicken: what a presentation. Broiled sweet mustard marinated thighs with tobiko, seaweed and champagne picked shallots. There were three kinds of sauces too.

Pork: braised marinated baby back rib.

Beef: prime rib eye katsu sando with Hokkaido milk bread and aioli, over shishito peppers.

After that, a palate cleansing cava came out, and then a glass of dessert white…

To go with this lemon tart and chocolate-stuffed churro.

What an amazing meal! There are so many more dishes I want to try on the menu. I’ll be back here again soon for sure, and I highly recommend you go as well. The price is low, the food is great, and there’s even live flamenco music.

NAI TAPAS BAR
85 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Katsu-Hama

I strolled by this joint yesterday on my way to meet a friend for a drink. I took note of it, so I came back today for dinner with my wife.

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It’s a small but nicely set up joint on the second floor, with nice big windows overlooking the street (55th). We sat down right away at the bar even though it was crowded with people waiting for larger table settings.

I had the ma-yu tonkotsu ramen. It was pretty good, not too bitter from the black garlic, which often happens with ma-yu.

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The bamboo shoots were excellent, the pork was tender and flavorful, and the noodles were alkali straight and nicely cooked.

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The only down side to this bowl was the egg – it was hard boiled instead of soft boiled, so the yolk was a little powdery.

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My wife had a nice fried chicken dish set (nan ban), which came with miso soup, rice, and a small salad. The meat was great. I would slap it on a roll with some mayo and use the shredded cabbage it came with as a crunch element. Delicious!

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KATSU-HAMA
11 E. 47th St.
New York, NY 10017