Monday, March 30, 2009

Not Zagat Rated, but Should be!

On the edges of Times Square, there typically isn't much good food to be had without insanely inflated tourist trap prices.  Yet, Hagi sits nestled in between two flashy Japanese restaurants, quietly advertising with a black sign saying Sake bar, downstairs.  It's a small basement restaurant with a Sake bar/food counter off to one side that is often the only place you can get seats.  There is always a wait, and the place is filled with japanese and japanese americans, which is the true sign of good asian cuisine.  The food is delicious, and cheap cheap cheap.  With Sapporo on tap (available by the pitcher or mug), and a selection of sakes and wines, this place is the bargain basement of food and drink.

Now, before I go to a new restaurant, I like to check out online reviews.  There aren't many to be found for Hagi, aside from one in NY Mag.  But don't, I repeat don't be fooled by this review.  Do not order the smelt fish at any cost, unless you want to eat a large sardine full of eggs.  Disgusting.  However, you cannot leave this place without trying the wasabi dumplings and tuna sashimi.  Other high notes were the hot pots, chicken meatball skewers, and pork belly with garlic sprouts.  Order a bunch of things to share, and your bill will still be under 50 with drinks included!

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