An Early Taste of Daruma-Ya, Now Open in Tribeca

All photos by Hannah Palmer Egan
Lobster uni yaki at Daruma-Ya
A few weeks ago, Laura Shunk paid a visit to soba master Shuichi Kotani to learn the secrets of the then-forthcoming soba at Daruma-Ya (428 Greenwich Street, 212-274-0428), which opened earlier this month in the former Greenwich Grill space above Sushi Azabu.

The space is largely a holdover from Greenwich Grill. Plan-Do-See group, who runs both restaurants at 428 Greenwich, barely touched bar nor dining room but for a quick once-over with a paintbrush. But the restaurant has been transformed into a traditional Japanese izakaya -- where guests enjoy small snacks and drinks -- and soba house, which serves what's arguably the best buckwheat noodle in a town overrun with ramen.

Chef Nobuhito Dosei, who spent time at Michelin-starred Mori Sushi in L.A., heads up the izakaya kitchen, while soba master Shuichi Kotani gives his undivided attention to the noodles.

The tasting menu is a small splurge at $115, but it's worth every penny. It brings seven courses, beginning with a trio of small dishes, and runs through several more before landing at the main event: long bamboo trays of excellent buckwheat noodles.

On the next page, a closer look at the tasting menu.

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