Takashi’s Niku-Uni, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes


Dish no. 31. Niku-Uni from Takashi (456 Hudson Street, 212-414-2929)

Chef Takashi Inoue’s restaurant centers on stellar yakiniku, a Japanese-Korean style of barbecue, in which patrons grill his high-quality cuts of meat at their tables themselves. Takashi highlights a diversity of animal parts — here, you can sample all four stomachs of the cow — but the most unique dish may be niku-uni, a daunting-sounding combination in which a creamy lobe of bright-orange sea urchin is layered over a square of raw red steak marbled generously with fat. It’s wrapped up in a shiso leaf and nori for a hit of minty freshness and crunch, and consumed in one go. It’s a raw surf-and-turf that delivers lusciousness, freshness, and brine in a single, memorable bite.

In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we’re traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They’re presented here as a countdown, but we’re listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what’s good to eat in this town right this very second.