Autre Kyo Ya, a French-Japanese spinoff of acclaimed restaurant Kyo Ya, is now in soft-opening mode in the East Village, says general manager Erina Yoshida. Kyo Ya, a nearly eight-year-old seasonal Japanese restaurant also in the East Village, has earned heaps of praise over the years — it nabbed a Michelin star, three stars in the Times, and placement on lists of some of the best meals in the city. Autre Kyo Ya is slightly different, with more affordable price points and more inspiration from western cooking, Yoshida says. Chef Shuji Furukawa trained with French techniques in Japan before coming to New York to work at Kyo Ya, while fellow chef Takashi Igarashi worked at veggie-focused Michelin star Japanese restaurant Kajitsu before joining Kyo Ya.
Their background comes together at Autre Kyo Ya, Yoshida says. "They both have different techniques," she says. "You see that in the menu." That combination means appetizers like a quinoa bouillabaisse risotto with yakishimo fish, Asari clam, and garlic aioli and a roasted beet soup with shiro miso and enoki-kombu broth. The entrees have a similar spin, like a miso-marinated black cod with roasted shallots and pickled kohlrabi or a fried tofu dish with vegetables, dried tomato kake-dashi, and mustard spice. Autre Kyo Ya is not offering the famous kaiseki tasting menu of Kyo Ya, but the dishes at Autre cost less, too, Yoshida adds.
Yoshida and her father Tony also own grocery stores Sunrise Mart and popular secret cocktail bar Angel's Share, which is upstairs from Autre Kyo Ya. Despite the proximity to Angel's Share, Autre Kyo Ya's cocktail menu is different, Yoshida says. Drinks have a Japanese spin on them, but they are lighter. "It's a more casual drink that will pairs well with hearty food," she says. The Yoshidas saw Autre as a way to challenge themselves with western food — and as a way to give Furukawa and Igarashi a chance to shine, Erina Yoshida says. "[He] was always very intrigued in making something that utilized seasonal ingredients but with a new spin," she says. Take a look below for the restaurant's opening menu.