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While most East Village Japanese restaurants concentrate on either sushi or noodles, Chiyono presents home-style Japanese cooking, like your Nipponese mom would have made. That means a roster of croquettes, of which the best heaps potatoes on a pair of splayed fresh sardines, then deep-fries them. Other domestic delicacies include seafood-topped salads, thin-skinned pork and vegetarian gyozas, and the nearly unpronounceable pirikara-konnyaku;hunks of gray and nearly flavorless devil's tongue starch dressed with soy sauce, chile flakes, and shaved bonito. Seating is mainly family style at a large communal table, and a chalkboard menu details the many daily specials.