More details are out on the NYC restaurant from one of Tokyo’s most exclusive and acclaimed restaurants: Yakitori chef Yoshiteru Ikegawa’s Noho restaurant will be called Torien, and the vibes will be far more in line with other downtown New York establishments.
Ikegawa runs a tiny yakitori restaurant in Tokyo called Torishiki, and for his first international restaurant, he’s partnered up with the team at Showa Hospitality, a group with restaurants in San Diego, Miami, and Mexico City.
Showa Hospitality’s Julian Hakim tells Eater that the new restaurant at 292 Elizabeth St., near East Houston Street, will be more similar to Ikegaway’s spinoff Torikado, which is “slicker” in its decor. “We’re going for a much sleeker look, a little more ambiance,” Hakim says of Torien.
The food, though, will still be yakitori omakase, using every part of the chicken for the meal. Appetizers, a few vegetable skewers, and dessert will round out the meal. Drinks will include sake and wine, and the team may “funk it up” with attention toward natural wines, Hakim says. And besides about 20 seats around a counter, Torien will have some private dining rooms as well. Ikegawa is already training chefs in Tokyo now to man the new outpost, expected to open next March. Prices haven’t been set yet, but could be around $80, Hakim says.
It’s a big deal for New York. Ikegawa’s tiny flagship restaurant in Tokyo has a Michelin star and is one of the city’s toughest reservations for the charcoal-grilled meat. Seats book up almost immediately after reservations open for the month. Spinoff Torikado hasn’t been open for as long, but early word suggests that the quality is still “impeccable” even though Ikegawa himself isn’t in the kitchen daily.
Torien will be the first New York restaurant for Showa Hospitality, but it’s where Ikegawa wanted to open, saying that many Japanese customers wanted to see the restaurant here. Showa’s Edo Kobayashi started talking to Ikegawa a couple years ago and eventually sealed the deal for a first U.S. outpost.
If all goes well, Showa could help Ikegawa do a spinoff in Hawaii, as well, Hakim says. “He’s really old-school, really a perfectionist,” Hakim says. “We want bring that to the city.”