At Okonomi (150 Ainslie Street, Brooklyn; no phone) chefs Yuji Haraguchi and Tara Norvell devote their mornings and afternoons to ichiju sansai, a multi-course breakfast of soup, fish, and accompaniments like subtly sweet pickles made with rice vinegar and sour yuzu. Presented in gorgeous ceramic vessels, this regal morning meal also includes creamy cubes of Japanese-style rolled omelet, mixed with soy milk or heavy cream to create a deeply caramelized exterior. But even those elegant ova pale in comparison to the kitchen’s dreamy onsen egg.
Poached in the shell and cooked to the approximate temperature of a hot spring, the egg arrives in its own cup, floating in sweet soy sauce and topped with togarashi — a Japanese chile powder spiked with roasted citrus and sesame seeds. It’s served as a two-dollar supplement, meant to pair with bowls of remarkably fluffy and nutty brown rice crowned with pungent cured bonito flakes. Mix everything together and pour its viscous yolk and barely-there white over the grains to season them. The result is close to a porridge, but with loads more personality than that term suggests. Lush and salty-sweet, its depth of flavor is a delightful surprise in a meal full of them.
The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10. To read about previous dishes, browse our 100 Favorite Dishes page.
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