Hidden Jewel

To find the best Japanese food in New York City go through the 70's decorated office building lobby, past the elevator bank and night security guard, down the back stairs, and through a basement hallway. You would never find it if someone didn't tell you it was there, but fortunately for me, Annie told me.I was in New York City last week for training and I had a free night on Monday. I was sipping on a dirty martini at the Four Seasons when my friend Tosh Marks returned my call. He was free and we decided to give Sakaguru a try. When I arrived at the address, I knew that I was in for a treat when I hoped into a line of Japanese people making the treat through the tacky office building lobby and down to the basement. (Always a good sign when you are surrounded by people of the same ancestry as the food) It is important to note that Tosh has lived in the city for the past ten years and as a self-described Foodie and has developed quite a palate with his culinary tour of New York. He was a little skeptical when I told him about the place, but as the night went on, my hunch that I was a part of something special was confirmed. Because we didn't know exactly how to read the menu or what to order, we asked our wonderful server to start us off with a bottle of sake and some water and then surprise us with whatever she recommends. We smiled for the next three hours.

* Dried sardine crackers dipped in a spicy mayonnaise sauce. * Seaweed and peanut salad with a soy sesame dressing * Mixed greens and fresh tofu served with Tsa Tsai and Miso dressing * Fluke sashimi topped with grated dikon radish and a citrus vinaigrette * Pastrami duck wrapped scallions with a basil lemon paste (my favorite) * Blackened cod with pickled soy infused mushroom stems * Slow cooked miso glazed wasbi pork (melts in your mouth, not on your chopstick) * Eggplant done three ways - Egg yolk custard, spinach and sesame, and sweet red miso * Kobe beef grilled table side on a hot stone * Chocolate souffle with vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry sauce * Black sesame creme brulee with black sesame ice cream

If you are in Midtown Manhattan anytime during the rest of your life, go to Sakaguru and take a friend. www.sakagura.com 211 EAST 43rd ST. B1 NYC NY 10017 212-953-7253