Starting this Thursday, $20 will buy diners at Ikinari Steak in New York City a searing 14-ounce chuck eye steak, soup, salad and rice for lunch. By the city's standards, it's a bargain. But it comes with a catch: There's nowhere to sit.
The restaurant is an outpost of a popular Japan-based restaurant largely frequented by busy workers looking for a good, fast meal. Diners order their 40-day wet-aged beef at the counter by weight, a butcher then cuts the steak, which is cooked to rare over an open fire and then placed on a hot skillet, allowing diners to finish cooking it to their desired state of doneness, Eater NY reports. It comes with onions, corn and finishing sauces, like special J-sauce, a soy-based Japanese steak sauce, and a garlic option. There's also wasabi, salt and pepper, but no dessert or appetizers.
The team has an ambitious plan to open 20 locations in Manhattan in the next five years, Takashi Tsuchiyama, who is overseeing the U.S. restaurants for the chain, says. And "that’s the conservative target."
The restaurant is the latest in a string of popular Japan-based restaurants to open in New York recently. Ichiran, a cult ramen restaurant, opened in Bushwick with its signature dining carrels, where guests are encouraged to enjoy their ramen solo and in silence. However, the team also made concessions for the outpost, adding seating for groups as well. At Ikinari, there will actually be 10 seats, though they will likely be hard to come by.
So, will standing dining take off? Stay tuned.
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