Steakhouses in New York tend to be institutions to hang out in — but the newest steak restaurant in town doesn’t even have chairs. Ikinari Steak, originally founded by beef obsessive Kunio Ichinose in 2013, is a popular Japanese steakhouse chain where people stand as they eat. In February, Ichinose debuted the first location in the U.S., in New York City.
Restaurants with no chairs and quality food are common in Tokyo. At Ikinari, that means a simple menu only with various cuts of steak, boosted with an elaborate selection of condiments including wasabi and a special sauce. In Japan, some dedicated fans eat more than 80 pounds of meat from the restaurant each month.
For this episode of Cult Following, host Serena Dai stopped by the East Village location of the restaurant to see what it’s like to eat at the standing steakhouse.