248 East 52nd St, New York, NY | Directions 1002240.756296 -73.968184
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Midtown East, Midtown East (Turtle Bay)
Fun for group dining, slightly above average food – This is a fun place to go with a few friends because you can share everything and try many things. The food is not fantastic, but it's pretty good, and a few things are very good. The grilled vegetables were piping hot and delicious. The waitstaff is not great -- they are a bit forgetful and inattentive and we were told it wasn't possible to bring us extra bread for our pate (give me a break) -- but they are not unfriendly and it was actually cracking us up more than making us mad. "Can we get some extra bread for this pate?" "Ummm, we have to order new pate." "I have to order a whole new dish of pate to get a few more pieces of bread?" "yes." "But I need more bread because there wasn't enough bread for this pate, so what would I do with a whole new dish of pate? Do you see the problem here?" "It's impossible." And the whole time you aren't sure the person understands a word you're saying . . .
Too Proud – Being an avid yakitori fan, I was delighted when Torys opened on the East side (Totto is on the West side). However, I am much disappointed after eating at Torys several time. During my first visit, the waiter was absent minded. He not only forgot several of our orders, the stoneware rice with chicken we ordered came without the chicken. Still, I went back several times for the yakitori but often the "limited" items were sold out early on. The last three times that I went with another friend, the hostess told us they don't have anything available (even though each time we saw at least two empty tables - reserved?) Not even an offer to wait for one. Next time, I'm heading back to the West side.
Authentic yakitori – Our interest was piqued after reading an article in the NY Times about this place. Although I may not be officially correct, I'd like to point out that I believe that the use of "bones" may be a misnomer - from my understanding (being Japanese, having gone to yakitori places in Japan) - nankotsu is in reality the cartilage, not bones.
Regardless - we admit that we were disappointed that we were not able to experience this unique delicacy. We arrived at 6:05 and ordered a few minutes later. The restaurant opened at 6pm, and already the "limited items" - "bones", soft knee bones, tail, and neck were all gone. What a travesty! So we were not able to order it. The waitress said to be there at 6pm on the dot to order it...
The rest of the menu was fantastic however; some of the noteworthy are skin (burnt slightly giving it a nice crunch) liver, gizzard, heart. For those who are squeamish or unfamiliar or grossed out - there are other items on the menu, such as the standard breast meat, wings, and thighs, and chicken meatballs. Other items abound as well.
In short, great authentic food, great service, nice ambiance, and a must for yakitori-lovers!
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