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Eater Inside: Inakaya

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[Krieger, 02/24/09]

Midtown West: Opening to the public tomorrow night, we present Inakaya, the robatayaki restaurant that we've been waiting for for over a year and a half. Located on the ground floor of the New York Times building, the restaurant is the first New York outpost of the famed 39 year-old spot in Roppongi, Tokyo.

One of the first things to know about robatayaki: there is a lot of shouting. A chorus of servers and chefs will shout at you as you come in, when you order drinks, when you get your food and so on. It's all about the theater. Per the press release:

"...robatayaki is theatre where everything feels larger than life, from the kimono and happi coat style uniforms, to the calligraphy menu, massive grill counter with a myriad display of food, the paddles used by the yakikata ('grill-persons' is the literal translation), to shuttle dishes, and even a cold beer, to diners at their front row seat."
All food is cooked by kneeling chefs and thrust across the counter to customers on long paddles. As far as the menu goes, they serve sushi and sashimi, grilled meats and vegetables, and a wide variety of traditional Japanese hot and cold dishes. We've pasted the lunch menu below, but the dinner menu can be downloaded here.

Lunch Menu
Bento Box ?????
All Bento Boxes served with Miso soup and Rice.
A. Bento Box “Ume” ????? “?” $18
Fresh salad, Kakuni, Aemono, Agedashi, and Sashimi of the day.
B. Bento Box “Take” ????? “?” $25
Sashimi salad, Kakuni, grilled vegetables, Agedashi, and grilled fish of the day.
C. Bento Box “Matsu” ????? “?” $32
Fresh salad, Crab meat Agedashi, grilled Eel, Sashimi of the day, and grilled

Sushi Plate ???
All Sushi Plates served with Miso soup.
7 Varieties of Nigiri Sushi ???????? $25
( Tuna, Yellowtail, Salmon, Fluke, Spanish Mackerel, Cooked Shrimp and Eel )
Combination of Roll Sushi ??????????
A. California Roll, Tekka (Tuna) Roll, and Salmon Roll $17
B. California Roll, Yellowtail & Scallion Roll, and Eel Roll $19

Salad ?? $11
Fresh tossed green salad with original dressing.