Address: 152 W 49th St, New York
If I live or work in Midtown area, I would probably go to Izakaya Hagi after work, every day. It is not that the food there is out of this world, or that the drinks will blow your socks off. There is just something about the atmosphere, the food and the drinks, which reminded me of Tokyo, my favorite city in the world. Like a true izakaya, Hagi serves yakitori, sashimi, rice dishes, stir-fry dishes and tons of sake, shoju and beer. The yakitori (we ordered chicken skin, chicken, meat balls & pork belly) are not the best compared to those at higher end yakitori places such as Yakitori Totto, but definitely better than Yakitori Taisho. I don't usually see Bonito sashimi at many restaurants, which prompted me to order a plate, and my conclusion was that Bonito is way too fishy to be eaten as sashimi. I do love the fried gizzards, kara-age style (marinated in ginger juice and then deep fried) and the stir-fried pork belly with bean sprout, as well as garlic fried rice. As for the drinks, we thought the Ume (plum) Beer and Tropical Beer were interesting and tasty, and the yuzu sake was very refreshing. We will definitely go back there again.
Note: be prepared to wait at least 40 minutes for a table, even on weekdays. They don't accept reservation.