Photos: Seishi Hayashi
Ichibantei is back in a glamorous new three-level space that once housed VNYL, just two blocks from its original location. The Japanese restaurant is also serving food until 3am (bucking the post-pandemic trend of kitchens closing at 10pm).
With three floors, soaring ceilings and 90 seats, Ichibantei’s new look pays homage to Japanese pop culture. Housed in a former movie theater, the two-story dining room features vintage Japanese film noir posters on dark walls, theater mirror lights, and lip murals by Japanese artist Cazul in the bathrooms. The restaurant also has full liquor license for late-night cocktails.
Opened by Chef Rutsuko “Ruth” Koga and Shin Araki in 2010, Ichibantei is known for its teishoku Japanese set meals, like the ones their mothers made while growing up in Japan. All of the main courses are accompanied by salad, rice and miso soup.
Menu highlights include Agenasu, Japanese eggplant in broth; Karaage (fried chicken); Teriyaki Chicken; and Tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet). Also offered, Ichibantei Steak, a grass-fed Angus steak topped with garlic chips; Tuna Steak; and Chickenchup, crispy fried chicken coated in a sweet and tangy ketchup.
Ichibantei is located at 100 Third Avenue (near 13th St.), New York, NY. For more information, visit ichibantei.nyc