Monday, April 13, 2009

Asian Persuasion

I haven't been to Hagi in so long I almost forgot it existed.  And then an article by hippie foodist Peter Meehan circa 2006 reminded me of all those nights spent in the sake bar den, eating my face off.  I hit Hagi around 11:30 last night, which may be the earliest I've ever been.  Consequently, I didn't face the lines I normally face and the service was passable, as opposed to completely effing inexcusable.  

I can look past things like this.  

Tiny fried pork buns spewed forth hot and salty ground pork and leeks.  They were each the size of a half dollar and slightly addictive.  Yakitori was as cheap and yummy as ever.  We got grilled duck, fatty and dark and seasoned with salt and lemon.  Chicken skin skewers were slightly underdone but still reminiscent of all those nights spent fighting over skin at the family table.  (I usually won.)

What Hagi calls 'short ribs' I call tiny rib eyes, six to a plate, grilled and topped with something soy sauc-y.  They came with paper-thin onions, served raw.  Pork belly and cabbage also featured bean sprouts and a salty, spicy sauce.  Large as it was, the plate was no match for our larger appetites. 

Finally, my all time favorite: udon hot pot.  Udon noodles in broth arrive in a steaming pot with a poached egg, two tempura-battered shrimp, and sliced shitake mushrooms.  What comes of it is a hot, slurpy, eggy mess.  I love it.  I could eat it forever. 

And the bill?  I'm so glad you asked.  $32 big bucks.  Can't beat that in a recession. 

152 W. 49th Street
New York, NY 10019

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