The List: Yakiniku West


For those of you who know me, I am sure you have heard one of my rants on steakhouses. Don’t get me wrong, there are few things I love more than a perfectly cooked slab of red meat dripping in its own juices but these restaurants that have become so popular don’t seem all that special to me. I’ll be the first one to admit that I haven’t tried all that many of these a la carte steakhouses that many people swear by but on the whole I’ve been underwhelmed. It isn’t even so much that the quality wasn’t there. One of the better meals I’ve ever had was at Bobby Flay’s Steakhouse, yet at the end of the night, was my $80 dollar plate of food really worth it? For some, the steak house will always be right for a celebratory occasion or even a Friday night regular outing, but I’ll pass. I’d much rather grill my own…

Last night we made it out to Yakiniku West on 9th St between 2nd and 3rd. Our outing was over a year in the making, having discussed “grill your own meat” since I’ve first moved to New York. Yet for whatever reason, we had never made it to this “traditional rural Japanese Steakhouse”; it was worth the wait. Upon entering Yakiniku we were met with a row of cubbies, not so unlike the one’s we all had in kindergarten. Our shoes wouldn’t be joining us for this meal. After getting to our table, set recessed into the floor with a grill directly in the middle, it became quite clear that this was my type of steakhouse. The atmosphere is comforting and serene and the service is really spot on. Ultimately, having scrolled through the menu a few times, we decided to order the prime short rib (which happens to be half off on Monday nights) although next time I will be sure to try some of the other cuts (ribeye, skirt, a variety of wagyu cuts, and seafood options as well). yakinikuWe also ordered pork gyoza, kimchi, and bibimbop (although this restaurant is traditional Japanese, the menu contains some Korean influences as well). The raw meat plates are accompanied by a variety of sauces to be used as condiments and once the grill heats up, a great sear can be created on the thinner cuts of beef. It was fun to take turns placing the meat on the grill, and the added excitement of watching your food cook was truly enjoyable without being at all gimmicky. The bibimbop was a great choice along side our short rib slices, the gyoza were light and flavorful and the pitcher of Kirin was the perfect beer to wash it all down. The kimchi wasn’t my favorite, tasting a bit under fermented but overall the food was really stellar. On our way out we picked up our shoes and made it back out into the craziness of the city. It was an experience to say the least; one I hope to share again and again.

Overall I would rate my experience an 8.5/10 and would definitely encourage you to give it a shot even if you love ordering luger’s steak for two ($80)….our entire meal for three was $80 with tax and tip.


One Response to The List: Yakiniku West

  1. smg says:

    I can’t believe that it took us this long to go! It was not worth the wait, we should have been 6 times already! I kid…(Don’t erase me). Its my oot friend’s fave place to go. They all love to “grill your meat” when visiting.

    If you happen to not hit it on a monday night, don’t worry! The “sets” are also a great deal. Try kobe and tell them to bring the miso marinated back!! And if anyone thinks this is korean bbq, whack them in the head with a tackhammer bc they are a moron (movie?). See comment re: eating in va for context…

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