So while the rest of the city dines on spicy tuna this weekend, better to duck into a fresh hole-in-the-wall in the West Village and experience a whole new extreme—or should we say "extremity"—of Japanese cuisine: the hoof.
The provider: Hakata Tonton, a spare 24-seat box of a restaurant that opened to the public last night.
The main event at Tonton is tonsoku, a chunk of rich protein made from pig's feet. You can find it in almost every dish: It's blended into the stews, where its greasy richness can spread out and dominate; it's cooked into gyoza (dumplings) with some tender chicken bones; it's layered over Linguini Carbonara, in case you're feeling fusion-y. You can even savor it as a deep-fried appetizer.
The age-defying bonus: Turns out tonsoku, as well as Chef Himi Okajima's other delicacies like shark fin, are filled with collagen, that magical substance proven to keep hair and skin looking vibrant and undergrad-y. (You'll appear younger with every bite.)
Hakata is still BYOB, but wait a few weeks and they'll be doling out sake just like the rest of the neighborhood.
Which is one example of conformity you don't actually mind.