Azusa of Japan

I was looking for Japanese restaurants other than Sakagura and Soba Totto in Midtown for a new lunch option as every time I go these midtown Japanese restaurants, I usually see either colleagues or someone I know from the expatriate Japanese community.  Also given that Sakagura and Soba Totto are widely recognized among midtown lunch seekers (and generally crowded), I wanted to find a hidden place with more of a quiet environment.  Azusa was just that ― a hidden gem that perfectly fits my need ― and is located just two blocks from Grand Central Terminal.

The entrance and the bar area remind me of a Japanese ryotei in downtown in Tokyo. A ryotei is a type of luxurious traditional Japanese restaurant, and they are typically a place where high-level business or political meetings may occur discreetly. In fact, Azusa is the perfect example of a ryotei; it is not too large in size compared to other Japanese restaurants in the area ― which is perfect for a quiet setting ― and there is even a tatami room in the back where you can enjoy a completely private setting if needed.


Azusa has an amazing selection of seasonal sushi and offers a ’specials’ menu all of the time.  I visited during the noon rush hour and had the daily special: bento box with rolls, salmon teriyaki, tori karaage (fried chicken), green salad, miso soup, pickles, and a small fruit cup for $17.  Very reasonable price considering the both the quality and quantity of food I received.  The meal arrived very quickly and the service was equally impressive.  The friendly server continually refilled my hot green tea and water unprompted.  Definitely a place I will visit again for lunch and perhaps dinner next time.


Price: $14-17 for lunch special

Neighborhood: Midtown

Dress code: Smart casual

Noise level: Quiet

Dining alone: Yes, a nice bar/counter is available


2 thoughts on “Azusa of Japan

    1. ninjanyc Post author

      I don’t trust some comments in Yelp about Azusa. The foods are always good when I visited.

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