NYC's 10 Weirdest Restaurants

P1020499x.jpg
Your $25 sashimi appetizer arrives enveloped in mountain vapors.


1. Ninja -- Imagine a windowless restaurant deep in the stuffy basement of a Tribeca building, crudely outfitted to look like -- a Spanish castle? The premises are a literal maze of fake stone painted black, curving and rickety wooden passageways, and private booths bunched inscrutably with garish plastic flowers. The waiters are outfitted as Japanese ninjas, lacking swords, throwing stars, or nunchuks, but having a propensity for jumping into your frame of view and screaming at three-minute intervals, or feinting as if throwing, say, a plate of food in your direction when your order eventually does arrive. Despite this noisy activity, the waiters don't pay any real attention to your table, and spend most of their time reciting a canned set of jokes at every table in their area, or should I say prefecture? On a too-recent visit, Fork in the Road heard our waiter say to nearly every party as he went down the pathway, "I put a roofie in your food. Haha, no I didn't. That wouldn't be legal." Gone are many of the thematic stunts pulled when the restaurant was in its infancy, and prices were much higher, as evidenced by Frank Bruni's review. This place is not for the nervous, and you could do better, food-wise, in a neighborhood Japanese carryout. 25 Hudson Street, 1995 to present


P1020475x.jpg
The ninja waiter is your friend -- unless he's jumping out and screaming at you like a lunatic on the street.


P1020480x.jpg
All seating is in booths, and the décor seems vaguely Spanish.


Next: That video from Asti. See how long you can stand to watch it.

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
Gizmo414
Gizmo414

In 1975 I was the construction supertendent who demolished the autopub resturant for the Reise Brothers. Two of the cars were suspended from the ceiling after lowering them and clearing out the tables and interior .I removed the storefront in the lower level and rolled out the cars. I arranged a cherry picker(sign truck with a boom) and two flat bed tow trucks. We hoisted out a 1909 Red Model T (called a runabout) a yellow Formual One race car, a Bristish Riley sports car, a Gaser Rail and a blue Dune Buggy these five were complete cars with engines.I have photos of the actual hoisting and myself and guys with the three best cars on site. I hired a mechanic and he had the Model T running in a week, I sold the Model T for $7500. A guy saw the Riley as it was swinging in the air on the boom" he said will you sell me that car" within 1/2 hour he came back and paid me $5000 on the spot for it. I was 25 years old then and that was a lot of money. The Model T today is worth $150,000 and the Riley twice that.Joe

esquared
esquared

If theme restaurants are making this list -- Mars 2112 and (#1) Ninja --  I think Jekyll and Hyde (the one in Midtown) should also be on this list, where they have ghoulish waiters and waitresses and scary animatronic shows. Or Hawaiian Tropic Zone, Bubba Gump.... And Ellen's Stardust Diner, where the waiters and waitresses sing Broadway tunes by patron's tableside.I also think that any of the current NYC trendy and gimmicky restaurants, such as the market/restaurant, i.e. Eataly, and restaurants that serves gold dust with their dish or oysters in Armand de Brignac champagne and pieces of broken bottle are weird.

Click This!
Click This!

I'm not clicking through 5 pages on what should be a 2 page story! "Done at 1" is my new motto! Or maybe, "F' the Rest. I Ain't Got Time!" Or perhaps, "Click This" with an arrow pointing to my groin!!

Joe DiStefano
Joe DiStefano

Surprised to see that Kurve did not make the kutt....was the decor too staid?

pschase
pschase

Twins must have been hilarious, sorry I missed it. There was a nightclub in the 90's that had a bunch of cars set up around the floor space, something like Autopub...

Douche_McGee
Douche_McGee

#7 - AutoPub - my mom took me there was I was 5 for my birthday.

lauren
lauren

got to 9:23...but then the bells came out! my ears still hurt from all that clanging.

Lothar
Lothar

Re: Asti video. Made it to 1:12, but then had urge to get drunk and scream at the cat in Italian.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Oh, your poor widdle finger! Pretend we're a fancy gym, and this is your digital exercise.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

I'm kicking myself for not including Justine, the S/M restaurant of a few years ago. Should have made it top 12 or 13.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

wish you had a picture --  i couldn't find any via Google Images

Douche_McGee
Douche_McGee

Me too. I just looked through all our old pics when I was visitng my mom back in August and I'm pretty sure there weren't any taken there unfortunately. My vist was in '78.

I only remember the booth we sat it was downstairs and I loved having to open the car door to get into the booth (it was an old style car door like on a model T) and it was a maroon color.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...