Build a roaring fire, pour some whiskey and find the nearest Japanese chicken to get cozy with.
Oh, good: Sumi Robata Bar, soft-opening tomorrow, is way ahead of you on all fronts.
This is the new roost of Gene Kato, the talented chef who helped make Japonais so very... Japonais-y back in the mid-aughties. See, that’s him, right there behind the glass when you walk in. He’s stoking that sumi (that’s Japanese charcoal) and carefully doing all sorts of delicious things to jidori (that’s Japanese-style chicken), Wagyu (that, of course, is Japanese-style beef) and whole lobster (this one’s Australian, mate).
So we’d advise you to take a seat at that magnificent split-timber robata bar to watch him. Just sip a bottled cocktail like The Sad Flute (bourbon, ginger, yuzu and grapefruit) and order whatever looks the best.
If you’re searching for a more intimate setup, you could slide past the bar—it’s really that narrow—to the dining room in back. Or try to sweet-talk your way into the dark downstairs lounge, called Charcoal Bar. With just 11 seats, think of this subterranean lair as a Japanese version of the Office.
The one with Grant Achatz, not Dwight Schrute.