Since I started my blog, I dine at Japanese restaurants at least 3 times a week. The places I have introduced here are restaurants where not only did I like their food, but also some other aspect such as location, service, or atmosphere. Zaiya is a place I visit on a regular basis, so I was not sure if I should include it here on my blog. It isn’t a special place to me per se, but rather a comfortable, friendly, and casual place that is part of my regular routine. It’s like an old friend with whom you can chat for hours or just be yourself with.
I decided to write about Zaiya when I noticed that it was highlighted on ny.eater.com with “15 Tasty Snacks for $2 and Under Around NYC”. Read more: http://ny.eater.com/maps/cheap-snacks-nyc-vanessas-grays-papaya-lam-zhou. And given the frequency in which I visit Zaiya, I felt I had credibility to share my experience, too.
Kombu (seaweed and salted plum) and salted salmon onigiri were introduced in the article, but there are various tasty casual foods available in there. The lunch combo is my favorite. One can select two proteins (Karaage, ebi-chili – shrimp with chilly sauce, Meatball, sweet and sour chicken, and others) that are accompanied by rice and vegetables. I have tried them all and have never been disappointed. I also like their dessert selections. Although I have lived in the U.S. for 8 years, I have not gotten used to the “sweetness” of American desserts; I typically look for Japanese options when I am in the mood for something sweet.
Price: Very reasonable
Neighborhood: Midtown, @Kinokuniya, and East Village
Dress code: Casual