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Even during its final frantic hours before opening, while contractors fiddled with an on-the-fritz air conditioner during a high-humidity, 90-degree heat wave, a visit to Bushwick newcomer, Okiway, made us inordinately happy. For starters, it’s a veritable funhouse of Japanese kitsch, from an impressive, walleyed toy collection circling the ceiling, to magnetic letters declaring “gyoza!” and “arigato!” adorning the steel hood over the kitchen, to a colorful pastiche of retro advertisements in the bathroom,...
New York’s perplexing obsession with dearly priced small plates shows no signs of dying down. But the tide definitely appears to have turned in recent months, veering away from Spanish tapas and Mediterranean meze, in favor of sleek Japanese izakayas; casual drinking establishments serving diminutive snacks, ideally paired with light beer and sochu. And Cherry Izakaya, a Williamsburg venture from the team behind the clubby Manhattan hotspot, Cherry at the Dream Downtown, is the latest...
Brooklyn wasn’t much of a contender in the top ramen scene before Chuko came along, which has both inspired and cultivated other local noodle stars over the last three years (we met Yuji Haraguchi at their collaborative Brooklyn Ramen dinner in 2012). So we fully expect their newest venture, Bar Chuko, to spark a borough-wide interest in the izakaya—the Japanese version of a gastropub—which, unless you count Izakaya on Smith (and we can’t currently...

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