Saturday, September 5, 2009


Daruma [227 Mott St. (bet. Spring and Prince Sts.), Menu]

I don't know about you all, but I am ALWAYS on the lookout for good places where I can get fast, cheap and easy solo meals. I'm talking about places where you can spend around $10 and be in and out in under 30 minutes (or faster if you do takeout). Daruma is now one of those places for me.

Situated directly next door to another spot that fits the same bill (Pinche Taqueria), Daruma is a tiny Japanese restaurant that specializes in yakitori, known to the layman as "meat on a stick." Sure they offer sushi and other small plates, but that's not the main draw. Each yakitori skewer costs a very reasonable $2 and they have 16 different options across the spectrum of meat, fish, and vegetables, so there is something for everyone. The menu even offers photos of each one so you know exactly what you're getting into before you order it.

The two times that I have eaten there, five skewers have been enough to leave me sated, although if you're particularly hungry, you might want to try six or get an appetizer. My fave five selection is: Yotsumi Chicken Tender, Gyu Tender Beef, Bacon with Scallop, Shu Mai, Grilled Salmon. Each skewer is packed with strong flavors, nothing subtle, but they taste great and are quite addictive. Go alone or in a small group, so you can sample a few more options, and you'll definitely leave satisfied.

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