There’s a New Teriyaki Joint Near Union Square


Chicken-thigh teriyaki at Glaze

Fourth Avenue just south of Union Square might be poised to become a new restaurant row. Opening right next door to Dos Toros last Thursday, Glaze specializes in Japanese teriyaki, displaying a similar narrowness of focus to its burrito-loving neighbor. With a small premises, that’s good business sense.

Glaze is right next door to Dos Toros.

Glaze is a second branch of an establishment at 54th Street and Lexington Avenue, said to be inspired by a type of restaurant popular in Seattle. The menu offers chicken breast, chicken-thigh meat, hanger steak, organic salmon, tofu, vegetables, and pork loin, priced from $7.50 to $9.50. All meats are boneless.

The platter also comes with a good quantity of white or brown rice and a salad with a choice of dressing (pick ginger-carrot, due to its slightly lower level of sweetness). Fork in the Road tried the hanger steak and the chicken thigh. The quantity of meat was immense in both cases, so that one platter is nearly enough for two people. The chicken was great — the hanger steak, not the right cut for teriyaki, due to its slightly liver-y taste.

This was not quite like the teriyaki one finds in East Village Japanese restaurants, where the meat or poultry is marinated, and then broiled in the thick marinade. In the case of Glaze, the flesh is flame-grilled, then a sauce poured over, so you don’t get the annealing effects you might be used to.

The hanger steak teriyaki

Nevertheless, Glaze is a great addition to the Union Square area, and a meal there will really fill you up. A few starters are also available — gyoza, steamed edamame, cold soba, shishito peppers — most of them prefab, if you can believe the boxes that came in the door as we sat in the window and ate.

Main drawback: Not enough seating, so go early or late, and don’t depend upon eating there. Union Square beckons.

Glaze Teriyaki Grill
139 Fourth Avenue

The interior offers only a handful of tables.