Inakaya – Robata-Yaki Japanese BBQ

What’s the difference between Japanese BBQ and Korean BBQ? The latter emphasizes sauce and combines many different flavors into each action-packed bite, while the former uses lighter sauces and focuses on grilling the meat to its sizzling perfection. Portion sizes also seem to be smaller for Japanese BBQ.

Inakaya in Times Square is a huge tourist locale that combines performance with food. You sit down and the waiters/cooks yell welcome in Japanese. You order a dish and the waiters/cooks yell it in Japanese. You can also partake in smashing mochi in the back (during which the waiters/cooks yell encouragement in Japanese).

Overall, food was pretty amazing including maybe the best piece of grilled fish I’ve ever had (more comments on that below), albeit, a little pricey considering the smaller portion sizes. It’s a good date spot as the dishes are made for sharing and all the action around you allows you to test how spontaneous your date is.

Address: 231 West 40th Street  New York, NY 10018
Price: ~$30 / person for dinner
Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm Mon-Fri, Dinner 5:00pm – 11:00pm Mon-Sun
Wait / Reservations: No wait, don’t make reservations

“Robata” means sunken hearth, where the cooks grill your food and pass it you on an extremely long spatula

Salmon (and Salmon Roe) Fried Rice and Chicken Thigh Skewers

Grilled Black Cod (inside was as soft as tofu, outside was perfected just seared, great flavor throughout)

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