94 E 7th St, New York, NY | Directions 1007940.726597 -73.985412
Neighborhoods: East Village, Downtown
I would say this is one of the top 5 best Japanese restaurants in the universe and I do not say that lightly. EVERY item on the menu will make you cry with happiness and leap with joy - a must have is the Cha Mama!
Kaiseki jewelbox in the East Village. – Kaiseki--the refined and elaborate, multi-course Japanese dinner--is the focus at this cozy, subterranean East Village restaurant. It’s neither cheap nor particularly fun: A kaiseki meal starts at $120 a head and the servers approach the meal with the solemnity of the tea ceremony from which kaiseki is descended. But the food is extraordinary, and the decor (sparse, clean walls with blonde woods and artfully minimal floral arrangements) utterly transporting. You might see monkfish liver or abalone or kobe beef in minute portions and precise arrangements, or encounter foods like mochi cake, which is unfamiliar but wonderful.
Editorial Review – A restaurant for serious Japanese food that proves the good stuff doesn't have to come rolled up in sheets of seaweed.
A real find -- amazing food, amazing service – Everything you've heard about this place is true! Went here for my birthday, with three friends. We shared about nine or ten smallish plates (they came out one or two at a time -- perfect), and left happy and stuffed. We also had excellent wine and sake -- spent about $75 per person, including tax and tip. The food was absolutely amazing (the place got a Michelin star last year), and the service is just ridiculously friendly and polite. The bathroom is cleaner and nicer than I imagined possible for a restaurant bathroom. All in all, a relaxed and very pleasant night out.
Authentic hidden gem – We sat at the bar cuz they were fully booked that night. The food was amazing. Service was great. Really enjoyed the dinner.
Kyo Ya – Given the high ratings this place has gotten, we chose it for a special occasion, reserved well in advance, and went with high expectations. It was a terrible disappointment. From the time we placed our order to when our food finally made it to the table, a full sixty minutes had elapsed. Not only that, they brought our entrees before the appetizers! That took another ten plus minutes to sort out. Our waitress was hopeless. We got no explanations, no apologies, and nobody appeared to be in charge. We explained what was going on to the hostess on one of her strolls through the dining room, only to have our long wait drag on. When our meals arrived at last, in the right order, the food was good, but definitely not in the same league as several other top-tier Japanese restaurants we like. We don't know why, but this place is seriously overrated. It's also very badly managed. Any one of the many options in this price range for delicious Japanese food attentively served in well-run restaurants would be a better choice.
stuning JP food – If you like Japanese food, you'd better be there at least once. Don't think JP food is only sushi and tempura.
Absolutely the BEST – I went there with a friend and we ordered the special sashimi that were flown in from Japan. I must say that the sashimi was the very BEST I have ever had. They were beyond fresh and just melted in my mouth.
Everything was perfect and the waitress whose husband is the chef was extremely helpful both in introducing the food and the sake. We had the Born Muroka Nama Genshu which is a wonderfully fruity sake.
I would go back there again and again!
The food is art, warm service – I stepped into Kyo Ya with my wife, for a sampling of their appetizers and to check the place out for my birthday dinner there coming up. We have now made reservations for their mysterious tasting menu, made up of many chef-chosen delicacies and creations--for which you must leave 2-3 hours of your evening open. This seems to be a growing trend with the ascension of Masa; the chef knows what is best and if you trust him/her you shall be amply rewarded. Not being very experienced in the world of upscale Asian restaurants, I don't know if this is becoming more commonplace or not. But one thing is clear: Kyo Ya is not commonplace in any way.
With warm service (they literally 'host' you, making you feel as though you are welcome into their home--my wife enjoyed having the door opened for us as we departed), the whole presentation and 'vibe' was complete.
Well, I trust the whole team at Kyo Ya after just one brief visit there. The clincher was the various appetizers that we sampled: A whole, baked eggplant stuffed with seafood tidbits and delicately warmed bits of, yes, eggplant, with it's black sauce and shaved almond pieces stuck onto it, was a feast for both eyes and tongue. Potato dumplings, also filled with seasonings and seafood, was also a joy. The squash soup, though served cool in a rather tiny portion, was subtle and delicate. Finally, for dessert we tried the ice cream, served 'sandwich' style inside a delicate and crisp biscuit.
HIghly recommended; romantic but not oppressively so. And while the space is intimate and not large, it's possible to bring in a group of a dozen or so (reservations are necessary, in any case)--the Japanese group seated near us was boisterous and upbeat, without dominating the room with noise and shouting--we Americans can learn a thing or two from other cultures for sure. Kyo Ya: Yeah!
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