restaurants
Mr Robata
1674 Broadway
212 757 1030

At the northern perimeter of Times Square is this narrow and unexpected gem of a robata, sushi and sake bar. While they excel at the traditional, the reason for coming here is to discover the unexpected, starting perhaps with a foie gras cappuccino soup of miso and orange zest or a shiso dressed quinoa salad or a seaweed salad with eggplant and yuzu. There's amazing maki such as lobster tempura over coconut, mango and avocado or spicy yellowtail with soy paper, sriracha, mango and macadamia nuts. Hard to find nigiri includes such choices as horse mackerel, Japanese shad, and sea bream. What you want to do is let the well-travelled husband and wife team - he's the chef, she's the sommelier - do omakase for you. Unexpected sakes come out (the types where there's only twelve cases in the world) along with traditional, but hard to find European wines. Perhaps you never thought of that garnacha with your Wagyu skewer. Most chef's tastings are not that surprising; here it's the opposite, where it will be like no other Japanese meal you've ever had. Those looking to spend less could get out of here at about $50/person but it's well worth the $100/head (with wine about $300 for two) to have the experience of a lifetime.

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