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I’m Mari.
On Marivelous Me! you’ll find recipes, food gifts, food I’ve traveled for and food solutions. Poke around, maybe you’ll find inspiration for something you’re working on. Enjoy! 


Kyo Ya - a Quiet Oasis in the East Village

Mr. Mari and I don't eat at many fine Japanese restaurants since we eat so well when we go to my parents' home but I make an exception for Kyo Ya. Tucked in a basement space in the East Village, Kyo Ya is probably one of the best not-kept secret restaurants in New York. Like their understated signage, they are technologically quiet as well. They don’t tweet, Like or even have an active website. Chef Chikara Sono is just focused on producing really amazing, subtly flavored and gorgeous foods.

Don’t go to Kyo Ya expecting a ton of sushi. Oh sure, if you want sashimi you can order it but what you really go to Kyo Ya for is Chef Sono’s prepared foods. The stand out is the kaiseki tasting menu - ten to eleven perfectly executed courses. There are only ten Tasting menus available per evening - so when you make your dinner reservation, don’t take a chance - reserve the tasting menu at the same time because these aren’t flavors or foods you’ll readily find elsewhere. You can order the dishes a la carte but leaving the flavor and texture crescendo to Chef Sono is best. 

Most restaurants that claim seasonality usually don’t go as far as Japanese restaurants that claim the same. The emphasis of seasonality begins with the table. In winter, the placemats are warm in tone, there are chrysanthemums not lilacs on the table and the dishes are respectively rougher.

This final image is of our "doggy bag" leftover rice. Even the take away container has been considered and gorgeous. Details, people! Details!

(Images, from the top! Zatsuki: Stuffed renkon with hanpen and green tea salt; Sakizuke: soy-marinated herring roe, palm hearts tosa-ni with grilled red and white turnips; Oshinogi: “Faux scallops” - panko-fried somen noodles with seaweed sauce; Owan: Hakusai potage with snapper mousse ball and Enoki mushrooms; Otsukuri: Assorted sashimi plate; Seaweed salt; Yakimono: Yuzu/soy-marinated grilled monkfish with shichimi pepper, satoimo yuzu-miso dengaku with toasted maitake mushrooms; Nimono: Simmered lobster in uni miso cream sauce; Tomezakana: Kuruma shrimp kimi-sushi with Granny Smith apple vinegar; Oshokuji: Rice cooked with grilled Canadian smelt and daikon radish with aka-dashi miso soup and pickles; Kyo ya Zenzai: Grilled mochi in a sweet red bean soup; Green tea sorbet with condensed milk; leftover oshokuji rice)

Kyo Ya: 94 East 7th Street (basement level); 212.982.4140

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