By Adam Platt
Published Oct 10, 2010
Takashi, which has been open now for several months on a quiet stretch of Hudson Street, in the West Village, is another eccentric little establishment with its own quirky, slightly off-kilter agenda. The proprietor, Takashi Inoue, grew up in Osaka, eating the decorous Japanese version of Korean barbecue called yakiniku. At this yakiniku establishment, the focus is on beef in particular (“The West Village’s New Meat Mecca” is the restaurant’s motto), and more precisely the exotic innards of the beast. You can enjoy three varieties of cow stomach grilled at your table (“Please cook until charred,” the menu advises), tender slices of beef heart, “flash-boiled” Achilles tendon, and a $22 tasting adventure called the Tongue Experience, which includes three cuts, ranging from the very tender tip “to the more chewy, sinewy part in the back of the mouth,” according to our waiter.
I never did try the Tongue Experience, although I enjoyed my encounters with the stomachs (especially the third one, darkly charred and drowned in miso sauce) and a tasty raw-beef creation called niku-uni, made with sashimi-like wafers of raw chuck wrapped with shiso leaves and spoonfuls of uni. The grilled short ribs at Takashi (dusted with salt and sesame oil) are worth a special trip, and so are the milky strips of rib eye, both of which are impeccably sourced (like all the innards) from boutique farms like Creekstone, in Kansas, and Lindsey Farms, in Oregon.
The handful of non-meat dishes available at this polished little restaurant (peppery edamame, seasonal Korean namul pickles) are boutique-quality, too. So are the sakes (should you need to fortify yourself before the Tongue Experience), and the single, satisfying house dessert, which is a bowl of soothing, soft-serve ice cream infused with Madagascar vanilla and flecked on its top with gold leaf.
From the 2011 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
Connoisseurs of esoteric organ specialties like sweetbreads, beef hearts, and stewed tripe tend to have to travel from restaurant to restaurant to satisfy the full scope of their addiction. But at this polished, neighborly, yakiniku-style Japanese grill in the West Village, we’re happy to report that the offal program covers all the bases. You can spend the evening happily grazing on three varieties of grilled cow stomach, tender slices of “tetchan” (large intestines) or “hatsu” (beef heart), and even a $22 tasting adventure called the Tongue Experience (slices from three parts of the tongue, including the tip), without ever having to leave your seat. And for the squeamish, there are all sorts of standard preparations, like the strips of rosy-pink rib eye (“rosu”), and plates of glistening, sesame-oil-marinated Korean-style “kalbi,” which, we would argue, are the most delectable grilled short ribs in town.