Walk into Ronin’ Stones on Clinton Street and you’ll see a counter with a few stools, some yakitori cooking on a grill, and (probably) no other human beings. Keep walking straight, and you’ll get to the real Ronin’ Stones: a tiny, semi-secret music bar behind a door that says “staff only.” Back here, there’s a small stage, a few tables, and records covering the walls. The music theme is pretty intense, which means they pretty much only play classic rock during the weeknights and jazz on the weekends. While you could technically have a full meal of Japanese food here, the room, unique experience, and short menu are better suited for a drinks-and-snacks date. We especially like the chicken meatball and the marinated beef tongue that comes with jalapeno relish, as well as the oden bowl with fish cakes in it. If the person you’re with likes music, they’ll think very highly of you for bringing them here.
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If you have ever been to Pianos to see a band in the back room, you probably didn't expect that it's the kind of place that would turn out some damn good bar food.
The boil is fine if you're looking for a night of eating seafood with your hands, but don't expect a real New Orleans experience. Expect butter and Old Bay and that's about it.
Hou Yi Hot Pot
Hou Yi is a little hot pot place on the Chinatown/LES border with all-you-can-eat food and a scoop-it-yourself ice cream station.
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Suki is a Japanese spot in the East Village where you should go the next time you want comfort in the form of a fantastic bowl of curry.
ROKC is a restaurant serving ramen and oysters, but this place is all about the cocktails, which get served in lightbulbs and conch shells.
Kokage is a Japanese spot run by the same people as Kajitsu, and it works for a nice (but less formal) lunch or dinner around Grand Central.
Suggested by our writers
Bohemian has a secret phone number and referral process to get a reservation, but that’s not why you should care about this Japanese spot in Noho.
Pig And Khao
Pig And Khao is a Thai/Filipino restaurant on the LES that serves great food and feels like a party.
If you want a relatively quiet drink and some oysters on the Lower East Side, Black Crescent is there for you.
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