Off the busy streets near Times Square, down a narrow flight of stairs you’ll find Sake Bar Hagi. I’ve been going to this Izakaya for years now. Back when Ben first took me here, you could buy a bottle of Sake, have them write your name on it with a sharpie, and come back later to sip from that bottle once again. Really a great business model, but one that has been discontinued, for reasons legal I can almost be sure of.
This review isn’t to lament about the good old days, Sake Bar Hagi is still great, and the food still flatters. An Izakaya is a place for patrons to relax, have a few spirits, and unwind from work. All the while taking in small plates of food. It’s kind of like a pub, or maybe a tapas place, but of course its distinctly Japanese.
Sake(as the name implies) still very much flows, even if you can’t tag up a bottle for future consumption,the selection is good. Not in the mood for Sake, these types of establishments always have beer as well. Hagi has the typical, Sapporo, Kirin and some legacy foreign and domestic options. But of course we come here for the food, and there are a wide range of options. Yakatori is on offer, so chicken/beef/vegetable skewers. Similar to the skewers is the short rib, think LA galbi, think definitely worth it.
Sushi and shashimi abound, as well as other fish preparations. I got the mackerel last time, it was grilled, cooked perfect. You can also get dishes such as uni if your looking for something not typically on offer. I got the uni, okonomiyaki and I was all set.
Manhattan Japanese Bar