Sharaku’s 5-Course Lunch Deal


This is the main course, and the fourth of five courses (dig the onion ring at the right).

Anyone who’s read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein remembers TANSTAAFL, an acronym which originated in the 1930s and stood for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Well, it’s still true – lunches are not quite free – but these days they’re often a much better deal than other restaurant meals.

First course: miso soup with lots of vegetables

Second course: your choice of sushi rolls

Here’s an example: the East Village’s long-running Sharaku (“Shark”). For 25 years it’s been occupying two stories of the same building block on Stuyvesant Street that includes Sunrise Mart and Angel’s Share, in the heart of Little Tokyo.

Here’s a lunch deal Fork in the Road ordered there recently. The meal ($9.75) started with a bowl of particularly lush miso soup, laden with vegetables and tofu. Next, a bowl of salad with the thick gingery dressing that was supposedly invented in the EV. Now a short sushi course arrives, with a choice of maki roll: either spicy salmon or California.

The main course of this five-course feast offered a choice of six, of which we were drawn to the shrimp tempura. Oohs and aahs went up from the table when it arrived, since there were three jumbo shrimp instead of the usual two, plus an assortment of vegetables. A bowl of white or brown rice came alongside.

The final course was a small fruit bowl; it was just the right thing and just enough.

The third course is a salad with a ginger-miso dressing.

The dessert is fresh fruit.

14 Stuyvesant Street

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